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tv   Reel America Cuba Bay of Pigs - 1964  CSPAN  April 18, 2021 4:00pm-4:29pm EDT

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the failed operation. in 45 minutes, a compilation of universal newsreels from >> they covered the cuban revolution to the aftermath to the bay of pigs invasion. in an hour, cuba, the battle of america from 1960. educational tv pioneer posts a broadcast exporting the causes of the cuban revolution. >> the bay of pigs. [inaudible] >> in the year since he took power, fidel castro has become an enemy of the united states.
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in the eyes of washington, a threat to the united states and the caribbean. march 17, 1960, cia chief is told secretly and organized a cuban exile force. he is not told how the force is to be used. he is only told to get it ready. in miami, recruiting for an exile army has begun. the operation is supposed to be secret but word of what is happening quickly leaks out. six weeks after the sacred meeting at the white house, fidel castro has publicly charged that the u.s. army's training and army to invade cuba. meanwhile in miami, there are 50
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exile groups of every little hugh from former supporters of batista to former supporters of castro. they have only one thing in common. want to overthrow fidel. the cia's problem is to find a way to unify them. >> they will overthrow castro because the people are the ones who overthrow tater ship. >> the announcement of this formation does not receive the expected attention. the summer of 1960 is a bad type for the united states. other events occupied the headline. a you shot down over the soviet union. kris jenner is informing the resident of the united states. --kruschev. >> it will set off a chain
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reaction. castro orders texaco, shell, and other plants in cuba to revive soviet oil. they refuse, and he seizes the refineries. he offers no reparations. over angry cuban protests, the united states tell you if by cutting off the import of cuban products. now in the summer of 1960, the united states and cuba have reached the point of no return. in washington, the eisenhower administration is convinced it is in the national interest to get rid of fidel castro. at this moment in guatemala, a human exile army is being created by the cia. -- cuban. an air force would be 26 bombers. they are the instruments that
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with the cia plan to overthrow fidel castro. havana, summer of 1960. fidel castro admits publicly for the first time there is unrest inside of cuba. counterrevolutionary activity. above his opponents now is his former administer, leader of the mrv. >> they are highly organized and well extended over the whole country. we reach every section of the human life. civic institutions, organizations, labor unions, the militia, the army, and we have people inside of fidel castro's house. the
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>> the mrp operates in the cities. they specialize in sabotage. in these mountains, there is a another anti-castro force, the guerillas. in 1960's, it became a serious threat to fidel castro. he takes personal command of the military operation. resistance continues. late in september, castro comes to new york. he is an uninvited guest. he will attend the u.n. enteral assembly. -- general. while he is in new york, he sees nikita khrushchev.
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the date is september 20 6, 1960. -- 26. castro will tell the general assembly that the united states is seeking to overthrow him, is training -- training an army to overthrow his country, interfering with human affairs. he issues a statement in which he says that the united states is not doing enough for the cuban exiles. he says united states ought to help them. in their television debate, vice president nixon disagrees. >> i don't know what kennedy suggests when he says we should help those who oppose the castro regime. both in cuba, and without. i do know this, if we were to follow that recommendation, that we don't help our friends and it
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latin america, we would be cadet united nations, i know something else, it would be something else , it is invitation for khrushchev to come in. >> a key issue is who knows best on how to handle castro? it is the closest presidential election. >> as far as the x program, i went to the country with very clear views of what the united states got to do. i have been elected and therefore, i will do my best to implement those views. >> even as he speaks, the force that he is called for in his campaign, the force that makes it did not exist, that eisenhower curated, that castro has denounced is getting trained and ready. in cuba, castro is setting his best troops. now, cut off from arms and supplies.
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>> thousands of fidel's militiamen begin an offensive against us. they move out the farmer, kill the cows, pigs and chickens. cut down the fruit trees, burn the houses, took away the food, and the lack of help we had to flee the island. >> the revolt is crushed. he has a limited one threat from his island. as 1960 and, he goes on television tomorrow the cuban people about another. he says the united states is preparing to invade cuba. the invasion will come before eisenhower leaves office. he calls for a general mobilization. the united states and cuba break diplomatic relations. tension mounts. moments of armed confrontation between cuba and the united states is near.
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january 20, 1961. >> let us begin anew. remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness. sincerity is always subject to proof. let us never negotiate out of fear. never fear to negotiate. >> i do moment, there is a breathing spell between the united states and cuba. a break in detention that has been mounting for six months. in have anna, the militia is mobilized. -- havana. the leader joins them to harvest the crops. in washington, cuba has not been forgotten. in his campaign, the new president has promised to do something about cuba.
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now, you must decide what to do. his advisers are new and inexperienced. he must rely on the professionals. military advice and the joint chiefs on the cia which is handling the cuban problem. political and military aspects as well as intelligence. >> cia director briefed the president on the cuban situation. he tells the president of the details of the invasion plan known as operation blue. they will land on the cuban coast 100 miles east of the bay of pigs. united states will provide air cover. as time went on, these plans would be changed with the approval or at least the acquiescence of the cia and the pentagon. at this point, he just wanted an ok from the present to continue prep -- preparations and he got it. >> from this point on, operation
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pluto gets top priority from the cia. the cia tells the cuban exiles they must agree on a single thing if they want united states help. once castro's prime minister, he has remained neutral in the power struggle among the exiled leader. now, he comes to new york. at his press conference, he speaks for the first time as president of the new revolutionary counsel. [indiscernible] >> now, the humans are united. mrp has joined the new coalition reluctantly. they don't like the way the cia is dominating the operation. once they resume, united states participation ensures success. they don't want to be left out of any new cuban government. the anti-castro cuban leaders
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have reached the satisfactory an understanding cia. at this moment in washington, the president is under heavy pressure. he is being pressed ok the invasion plan. major source of this pressure is cia reports on what is happening inside cuba. we knew >> when you the osby train in czechoslovakia. -- cuban pilots were trained in czechoslovakia. i have said before that is a move were to be made short of intervention, this is an area where it had to be made. >> another source of pressure is in guatemala. unrest is growing there. the communists and the army are demanding the removal of a brigade. the government feels threatened. the president has not yet made up his mind. go ahead with the invasion or cancel it.
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on april 4, a decisive meeting is held. obviously, nothing official has ever been said about it but from this perspective, certain facts are now apparent. on april 4, the cia urges the president to go ahead with the invasion. the joint chiefs agree. if the cia estimate is correct, if the grade has control of the air. only this person speaks out against it, tells the president privately that is a -- if it is immoral, a mistake, and it will fail. the decision cannot be delayed. the experts told them to go ahead. his staff has not argued against it. the decision is now his alone. he makes up his mind early on april 5, 1961. operation pluto, the invasion of cuba is approved.
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miami, the first week of april 1961. invasion fever is rising among the cuban exiles. everybody seems to know the invasion is coming soon. volunteers pour into exile headquarters. the churches are filled. prayers are set for the men of the brigade. april 10, in guatemala, c 46 transports begin to move out of the town. destination, nicaragua. at this point, the revolutionary counsel are in new york, 2000 miles away. in the hotel, they don't know what is happening. nobody tells them. behind the seed, they're still deeply divided over how to defeat castro. on april 12, the president holds a press conference. >> has a decision been reached
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on how far we are willing to go in helping an anti-castro uprising invasion in cuba? >> well first, i want to say it will not be under any condition and intimation -- intervention by cuban forces. the government will do anything we can't and should be their responsibility to make sure there are no americans involved in the action. besides cuba. >> preparations for the invasion continue. from texas, united states youtube takes off at the airfield. -- u-2. a united states task force goes the sea for caribbean maneuvers for the next week. united states marines are at sea and transport and they parked in the maneuvers. april 13, at nicaragua, exile invasion fleet is loaded. have anna -- havana, b 20's it
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bothers at the airport attack castro's airfield. -- b-20 bombers. the u.n., saturday morning. cuban foreign minister, >> i have been instructed by the revolutionary army to denounce this committee. the aggression carried out today at done against a territorial integrity and political dependence of cuba. the responsibility of this act of imperialistic piracy falls squarely on the government of the united states of america. >> he has made a number of charges. they are without any foundation.
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i reject them categorically. i would like to make several points right here at the committee. regarding the two aircraft which landed in florida today, they were piloted by cuban air force pilots. these pilots are certain of their crewmembers have defected from cast -- from castro's tierney. no united states participants. no united states government airplanes of any kind. these two plans to the best of our knowledge, were castro zone air force planes and according to the pilots, they took off from his own air force fleet. -- castsro's own. it has the marking of the castro air force on the tail was
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everybody can see for themselves. >> one of the plans is at eight miami airfield. it is identified as a b 26. castro's b 26 is have no nosedive. the pilot is identified to menus paper picture as a member of the brigade. the extra key to parted was intended to destroy castro's air force. tomorrow planned. castro has been dealt a serious blow but his entire air force has not been destroyed. the crucial part is free trainers are -- three jet trainers are untouched. >> the airstrike has humiliated the united states before the world. it has humiliated this man who do not know what he told the u.n. was not the truth. the unit states reacts to the outcry of the bombing. the other two airstrikes are
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postponed. this decision leaves castro with three on damaged jets. these will be the key to the failure of the invasion. sunday, april 15. the exile leaders do not know the invasion fleet is already at sea. >> awaiting me at the steps of a plague that brought me from miami were two people who identify themselves as officials of the american agency. they took me to a private room and a short while, the leaders of the revolutionary counsel arrived. from there, we entered two cars and were driven to philadelphia where we took an immigration department plane. >> we arrived at an unoccupied airport somewhere in florida. at that moment, we do not know what airport it was. were taken to a house and armed
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guards were placed around. >> for the next 48 hours, the cuban exile leaders be kept under guard in florida in this home. while 90 miles away, it invasion is being carried out in their name. dog, monday, april 17, bay of pigs, cuba. the first regrade reached the beach without authorization. >> this is the way the battle began. three men went forward at service to look for militiamen. suddenly, they found two. they said stop. the militiamen stopped. then, the soldier from the rear yelled, " we came to fight communism."
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the militiamen answered, " long live fidel castro and the shooting began. " you are seeing film shot on the beach by german cameras. and have anna -- havana, castro begins to react to the invasion. those that can be trusted are armed. castro takes personal command. the roads out of alana are filled with trust moving to the invasion beach. but, in the first hours the
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brigade pushes inwards. he is not yet to bring up his tanks or heavy guns. the first communique of the brigade reports that it is progress. over the beach are 12 b 26 is providing air coverage. shortly after dawn, they are attacked 23 castro jets that survived saturday's airstrikes. five of them are shot down. the grades to supply ships are sunk. -- the brigade's two. within a few minutes, they lost air cover and supply. now, castro can bring up his tanks and the fear of air attacks. and, he could bring up thousands of his militia. the afternoon, he is pressing the brigade hard. how are they to survive? where are they to get help?
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some expected it come from the underground. there is no uprising, there is no sabotage, there is no help from the underground for the brigade. for the next 48 hours, the men on the beach take a terrible pounding. they wait for help. none times. they say everybody has been promised air support from their american advisors. washington says that none was ever promised. only one thing is clear. the brigade is being driven into the sea. it's only hope of survival is the military intervention. on tuesday night, there is a reception at the white house to introduce congress the new candidate -- cabinet. leaders of both parties are there. the next day, the society pages will caught one of the events of the season. the president leaves early, goes to another part of the white house where he confers into the night with key advisors. >> cia deputy director has
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spoken to the president was a last-minute a peel. he knew the president said there would be no intervention. but the brigade is doomed unless they get air cover from the navy task force at the beach. the rest was too great. if we over intervene, we will ruin our position and it would be an invitation for cruise ship to step in. president said he would make his decision in the next few hours. >> at dawn, he makes his decision. >> president kennedy was very firm. he repeated three times, americans shooting humans now --
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no. the present was very upset anyone to explain to us why he had the invasion to take place after he had decided against u.s. military support. he asked this man whose name was jack haskins, if he still felt the brigade could win fighting alone. president kennedy showed us a copy of the reply. signed by haskins. this document inform the president that the brigade could overthrow the castro regime without u.s. help. the president looked angry and he told us he had relied on such advice in making the decision to send brigade there. >> on the bay of pigs, fighting continues. brigade has no food, almost no
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ammunition. no hope of help from within cuba or from outside. at 3:45 p.m., wednesday april 19, resistance and spirit all those were not killed or taken prisoner. in less than 72 hours, castro has destroyed the be great. the american plan is now a total failure. the failure at the bay of pigs was not merely the failure of the cuban exiles. it was a failure of united states policy which led to a failure of united states power. clearly, united states had the power to destroy castro. but, they could not ignore world opinion and use its power.
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it could not risk the repercussions that might follow the slaughter of humans and the occupation of cuba by night states forces. it could not risk the possible escalation of nuclear war. one alternative has suggested itself was indirect intervention carried out secretly under cia supervision. the cia solution was a carefully controlled military operation. it ignored for the most part, the underground inside cuba which could not be controlled. left-wing former castro supporters considered literally unreliable or shut off from participation. no real effort was made to make an uprising of the cuban people. the divided and were curial cuban leaders were felt to be undependable and power was taken from their hands. cia put its faith in the brigade , small, politically reliable, controlled by united states. an attempt was made to use the
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brigade and the cubans as an instrument of a mayor -- united state policy. the ramifications of their diplomacy. but, fidel castro did not collapse at the first sign of opposition as many latin american dictators in the past. as a result, the cuban exile gait was destroyed on the beach . the ninth states task force stood by helplessly. this was the low point for jfk is three years in the white house. as president, he took full responsibility for this failure of united states policy. this misuse of units its power. although, totally it was not all his.

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