Fidel Castro was a man (a lawyer, ironically, see anything
after this sentence to understand) with a desire for power, and a likable voice
to aid it. He lived in Cuba, a medium-sized U.S. island territory, only 300
miles away from the mainland. He had large ambitions, specifically control of
the Cuban government. The current leader, Fulgencio Batista, was unliked by
some of Cuba for he seemed to be aiming for a one-man dictatorship. Fugencio
himself had overthrown the previous leader, Carlos Prio Socarras, and
proclaimed himself as President. Castro amassed a guerilla army, and walked
right up to Batista’s door and kicked him out. Well, tried for about 3 years.
There were actually three movements against Batista, with Catsro’s 26th of July
movement being the most popular. He had established a clandestine cell system,
with 10 cells of 10 people. None of the cells knew the whereabouts or
activities of the other 9 unless it was made public. His main slogan was
“Cuba Si, Yankees No.” Fidel Castro and his movement eventually built
up enough power to rid the country of Fulgencio. Beatista ran away with
3000,000,000 U.S. Dollars, and Castro got away with a country’s government.
Batista’s supporters were exiled from Cuba, and most fled to the U.S. Fidel did
not become Prime Minister (the actual name for the leader of Cuba is always
changed) of Cuba, though. He might have been insane, but his reasoning was, at
best, mildly logical. To make Cuba like him more, he appointed the lawyer
(another one) Manuel Urrutia Lleo. Castro eventually took over as the Prime
Minister, and then Dictator of Cuba later on. When he rose to the power of
dictator, he still retained the title of PM.
One of the first things Castro did when he seized power was
to nationalize all oil companies operating within Cuba. The U.S. told the oil companies
who had been seized to withdraw from their operation in Cuba. The U.S.
retaliated by ceasing to purchase Cuban sugar, crippling the Cuban economy.
Since 80% of revenue in Cuba comes from exporting cane sugar, the U.S. seemed
to have the ultimatum. Then, the Soviet Union make a deal to buy sugar from the
hurt country. It was unclear to the government as to why they were doing this,
but it was well suspected that they were trying to annex the Communist world.
With Cuba’s distance to the United States, this was a dreaded occurrence. The
war between Capitalist and Communist was raging, and the next battlefield would
be a small island off the coast of the U.S.
The Central Intelligence Agency was the leading from in the
fight against the Soviet Union, whether or not anyone else knew it. They had U2
airplanes hovering over every major area of concern, and the news of the new
neighbors moving into Cuba was a major shock to every executive in the
building. The C.I.A. developed many different plans, including slipping a
radioactive element into his food. That would promote hair loss, and would rid
him of his mystical beard. Obviously, that plan was scrapped for its ridiculous
base and unknown result. They finally decided on a plan that was sure to work:
To invade Cuba, but make it look like it was Cuban exiles that were actually
attacking. President Dwight Eisenhower approved of the task, one of his acts
near the end of his second term. The C.I.A. actually hired Cuban exiles to work
for their plan but the training was inadequate for some.