Bay of Pigs Invasion

Published: 1961
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Fidel Castro, leader of the revolutionary group which overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista is pictured in a January 1959 file photo in Havana, Cuba. (UPI Photo/FILE)

Announcer: A few hundred miles south of Cape Canaveral in Castro Land, there were rumblings. The first word came from the UPI listening post in Miami.

Unknown Speaker: "An invasion force landed in south central Cuba this morning, some 90 miles from Havana, and is fighting its way towards the capital. Fighting is furious, and according to Red Cross reports heard via radio from Cuba, causalities must be heavy. Premier Fidel Castro issued a statement over a nationwide network shortly after 11 this morning, saying that the invaders, members of the exiled Cuban revolutionary front, have come to destroy the revolution and take away the dignity and rights of men."

Announcer: An invasion of Cuba by exiles. It came as no surprise that that voice from across the seas had a comment on the invasion, and the comment itself was no surprise, either.

Unknown Speaker: "This is Radio Moscow, and here is the news. Early this morning, armed aggression against revolutionary Cuba began. Armed bands of mercenaries were landed in different parts of the island. The United States was officially giving the Cuban contra-revolutionary financial aid, has equipped them with the latest weapons and put at their disposal airplanes and warships.

"Moreover, only three days ago President Kennedy declared the United States would never take aggressive action against Cuba. All of this was merely the necessary camouflage to conceal the criminal plans that were being made against Cuba and to distract attention from the coming aggression."

Announcer: American officials heatedly denied such charges. From the United Nations, American Ambassador Adlai Stevenson spoke.

Adlai Stevenson: "Dr. Roa, speaking for Cuba, has just charged the United States with aggression against Cuba and invasion coming from Florida. These charges are totally false, and I deny them categorically."

Announcer: Mr. Stevenson's denial was reinforced by President Kennedy.

President John F. Kennedy: "I have emphasized before that this was a struggle of Cuban patriots against a Cuban dictator. While we could not be expected to hide our sympathies, we made it repeatedly clear that the armed forces of this country would not intervene in any way."

Announcer: The fighting went on. Casualties were high on both sides. But the only word from the interior was that of Castro's Radio Cuba.

Unknown Speaker: "(Spanish.)"

Announcer: "Cuba will be victorious. The revolution will live on."

Hundreds of those who might have helped the invaders were arrested, some executed. Hundreds of the invaders themselves were captured, and Castro maintained his iron grip.