IT HAD BEGUN one day early in April, 1960, when two visitors walked into the office of Roberto Alejos in the Edificio Townson in Guatemala City.

Alejos, a handsome, athletic businessman, was one of the wealthiest coffee-growers in Guatemala. His brother, Carlos, was Guatemala's Ambassador to Washington. But there were two other facts about Roberto Alejos that interested his visitors this day: He owned two huge fincas, plantations, in Guatemala, both in remote areas. And he was the closest friend, backer and adviser of Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, the highly individualistic and unpredictable President of that Central American Republic.

The visitors were Americans. One was Robert Kendall Davis, a close friend of Alejos. Davis bore the title of First Secretary of the American Embassy in Guatemala City. A charming Californian of forty-three, graying at the temples, he looked the part of a diplomat. But it was an open secret in sophisticated political and diplomatic circles in Guatemala City that Davis was the CIA station chief in Guatemala. The CIA agent who accompanied him was less well known; he had recently returned to Guatemala after a three-year absence.

Davis and his companion had no small request. They wanted to know if Alejos would help arrange secret training sites in Guatemala for Cuban anti-Castro exiles. They also wanted to know whether Alejos could fix it for them to talk to President Ydigoras.

The CIA had good reason to approach Ydigoras gingerly. They were aware that he felt the United States regarded him as politically erratic. His election two years before had been greeted by Washington with less than enthusiasm, and Ydigoras knew it. Late in January, 1958, according to Ydigoras, a mysterious visiting American had called on him at his suite at the Maya Excelsior Hotel in Guatemala City. At this point, the Guatemalan Congress had not yet chosen him to be President.

As Ydigoras later related the story on nation-wide television, the visitor, who gave his name as "Mr. Karr," opened a suitcase containing $500,000 in United States currency and offered it to Ydigoras if he would withdraw. The CIA knew that rightly or wrongly Ydigoras, who declined the money, became convinced that "Mr. Karr" was a CIA agent, although he possessed no evidence of that.

Now the CIA was asking Ydigoras to risk his political career by permitting the United States to establish secret training camps in Guatemala. Nevertheless, when Alejos approached him, Ydigoras agreed to meet discreetly with Davis at the President's private residence, the Casa Crema, located on the grounds of a military school. (Ydigoras, understandably, had declined to live in the Presidential House where President Carlos Castillo-Armas had been murdered on July 26, 1957. Castillo-Armas had come to power in 1954 in a CIA-engineered coup that overthrew President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, whose regime was honeycombed with Communists.)

When Davis, Alejos and Ydigoras got together, the Guatemalan President, who had no use for Communism or Castro, agreed to allow the Cuban exiles to train in his country, He designated Roberto Alejos to handle the details of the project for him.

Now Guatemala was to become the staging area for the overthrow of Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba.

The CIA told Alejos that it would like to find privately owned land, with trustworthy owners, for use as training sites. Alejos suggested his own plantations. CIA, after looking over several other possible sites, selected as its main base Helvetia, the Alejos coffee ranch in the Boca Costa, the Pacific slope region of southwestern Guatemala.

Helvetia was particularly suitable for the CIA's purpose. It had no access roads, and was a self- contained city with 100 kilometers of private roads winding through 5,000 acres. The estate rose to 8,000 feet along the slopes of Santiago Volcano, which had erupted in 1928 and was still active. The training area, or "Trax Base," as the camp came to be known, was at 4,000 feet. It was well above and out of view of the main ranch building. The nearest habitation was the remote village of San Felipe. Retalhuleu, the other town in the area, was twenty-five kilometers from Helvetia. Guns could be fired and military maneuvers held at the ranch with complete security and safety.

The entire plantation was heavily guarded, so there was little chance that any curious outsider would stumble into the Cuban exile camp, or penetrate its secrets. If the volcano behaved, the CIA would have an ideal mountain hideaway to begin training the exiles who would topple Fidel Castro. It would be Guatemala, 1954 all over again.

The Americans who called on Roberto Alejos in the Edificio Townson that day in April, 1960, were acting on the authority of the President of the United States. Their visit was a direct result of an order given by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on March 17, 1960.*1 On that day Eisenhower authorized the secret training and arming of the Cuban rebels.

The President turned over the task of arming and training the Cuban exiles to Allen Dulles. Dulles in turn placed the project in the hands of Bissell.

A highly articulate, highly intelligent man, Richard-Mervin Bissell did not fit the popular conception of a master spy, any more than did Dulles. Bissell liked to refer to himself as a "high risk man," and it was he who ran the U-2 spy plane program.

Bissell was graduated from Groton, Yale and the London School of Economics. He took his Ph.D. at Yale in 1939, taught economics there and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked in the War Shipping Administration during World War II. In 1948 he joined the Marshall Plan, rising to the post of Acting Administrator. He entered the CIA in 1954.

The CIA's original plan, as it evolved under Bissell's direction, was to build up the underground within Cuba through a long, slow period of guerrilla infiltration by exiles trained in Guatemala.

The CIA designated one of its most energetic agents, with the cover name of Frank Bender, to be the top agency representative in dealing with the fragmented Cuban exile groups. Bender, whose real identity was carefully protected, became an almost mythical figure to the Cuban refugees. He was rumored to be everywhere -- in New York, Miami and Guatemala -- during the months that followed. After the Bay of Pigs, he was said to have been spotted in the Congo.

Most of the exiles believed Bender was a European who had fought with the French Maquis during World War II. Another account had Bender as an assistant to top Allied planners during the North African invasion in 1942.

Those who met him described the CIA field chief as a man in his fifties, perhaps 185 pounds, of medium build. He smoked a pipe, wore glasses, was well mannered and displayed a good knowledge of history. Bender established headquarters in New York, which with Washington, Miami and Retalhuleu became the four key centers of the operation.

The CIA's first task was to try to weld the squabbling and emotional exile groups into some semblance of cohesion, and to select promising leaders. The Cuban who looked most promising was Manuel Artime Buesa, a young firebrand orator who had fought in the hills with Castro in 1958. Artime accepted a job with the Institute of Agrarian Reform when Castro overthrew Dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Years day, 1959, and became Premier. But Artime broke with Castro later that year and fled Cuba in a boat. Now, at twenty-eight and violently anti-Castro, he was the secretary general in Miami of the Movimiento de Recuperacion Revolucionario, the MRR.

Another Cuban leader contacted by the CIA early in the planning stage was Manuel Antonio de Varona, former Premier of Cuba under President Carlos Prio Socarras, the man Batista had overthrown.

By the end of May, 1960, five exile groups had been organized as a revolutionary frente, or front, with Varona as coordinator.*2

At a meeting in New York, the CIA promised financial support to the newly formed frente. Bender dispatched agents into Miami. The CIA began pumping what eventually became millions of dollars into the frente and its successor, the Cuban Revolutionary Council. The CIA funds were deposited in a Miami bank and drawn by the frente through checks signed by an accountant named Juan Paula.

The first exiles were being recruited for the training camps. In the back streets of downtown Miami, in the bars, hotels, old rooming houses and apartments of the Cuban refugee community, the exciting word began to spread that something big was afoot.

Sometimes their leaders flew to New York for conferences with the CIA. When there was a crisis, Bender would fly to Miami.

The news would pass among the exile community: "Mr. B. is coming."

In May of 1960, less than a month after Davis had approached Alejos, the first Cubans arrived at Helvetia. The detachment of thirty-two men had entered Guatemala as "surveying engineers." At Helvetia they were trained as communications experts.

Alejos already had radio facilities for communication with the rest of the ranch; these were now greatly expanded by the CIA and installed in a warehouse near the main building.

The first group of Cubans lived comfortably in the Alejos guest house. But as more trainees flowed into Helvetia, the Trax Base was built on the mountainside, with barracks completed in June. The base was also known by its code name, "Vaquero," which means cowboy in Spanish. As cover for the entire operation, the Guatemalan Army allowed Alejos to train 400 Guatemalan troops at the ranch. They doubled as armed guards to keep potential snoopers and the 1,300 coffee workers out of the Trax area. CIA instructors, as well as logistics and accounting officials from the agency, were also housed at the base.

In addition to Helvetia, training took place at two other sites. Alejos owned a sugar plantation at San Jose Buena Vista, halfway between Retalhuleu and Guatemala City. The terrain proved excellent for parachute jump training and mass maneuvers. Amphibious landings were practiced on the Pacific coast below Retalhuleu.

In July the CIA began construction of a secret airstrip at Retalhuleu. The existing strip there was inadequate for the C-46s, C-54s and B-26s that would be brought in. The airstrip contract was awarded to Thompson-Cornwall, Inc., a big American construction firm with offices in the Chrysler Building in New York. The firm, already in operation in Guatemala, had the necessary heavy equipment available in the area.

Alejos fronted for CIA on all financial transactions in Guatemala, and it was he who signed the airstrip contract.*3 The initial payment for paving was $450,000. Before it was over, the airstrip and air-base facilities at Retalhuleu cost the CIA $1,200,000.

In August the crash job of constructing the airstrip was completed. Since there had to be some explanation for the existence of a modem airstrip in the middle of nowhere, foreign diplomats in Guatemala were told it had been built for exporting "fruit and frozen shrimp." President Ydigoras, his son and adviser, Miguelito Ydigoras, and the foreign diplomatic corps journeyed to Retalhuleu to cut the ribbon.

But the CIA overlooked one detail. A few of the more observant diplomats noticed that, curiously, there were no markings at all on the planes that were to transport the fruit and seafood delicacies. Miguelito had to talk fast. "The planes," he explained soothingly, "are waiting here to have markings painted on them."

The training of exiles also moved forward in the United States. In Miami the CIA instructed them in weapons handling and guerrilla tactics. The training took place in the Everglades and even in Miami hotels. In Louisiana one group trained under the leadership of Higinio "Nina" Diaz, an MRR leader.

Once the airstrip had been completed at Retalhuleu, the airlift of trainees from Florida to Guatemala could begin in earnest. The routine was always the same. A Cuban would make contact with the CIA through the exile groups. If he passed preliminary screening, he would be picked up, brought to a CIA "safe house" at night, and from there, with elaborate hocus-pocus, flown from the mysterious, guarded Opa-locka Airport in Miami to Retalhuleu. Sometimes other airstrips in Florida were used for the clandestine flights, and the CIA had occasional troubles with overzealous local police officers.


The Hendry County sheriff's office once investigated a report that unmarked, unlighted planes were picking up groups of men at night from an abandoned airstrip at Clewiston, Florida, near Lake Okeechobee. After the sheriff began poking around, the men disappeared. The CIA had another narrow brush with local guardians of the law shortly before midnight on October 27, 1960, when a plane without lights landed at Opa-locka. Since the place had not been used as an airfield by the Navy for five years, a Miami patrolman radioed Opa-locka police to investigate. They did, but were waved away by a sentry who explained it was "just a plane low on gas."

Meanwhile, the CIA was not overlooking the propaganda front.

In August, 1960, the frente hired Lem Jones, veteran New York public-relations man and former press secretary to Wendell Willkie. Jones had once worked for Twentieth Century-Fox and Spyros P. Skouras, but nothing had prepared him for the production he was about to get into now.

Jones had a friend in the CIA. He decided to call him to make sure that his representation of the Cuban exiles would be in the national interest. He gave him the names of some of the Cubans in the frente.

A half-hour later the CIA man called back. He seemed surprised. Do you realize, he asked Jones, what you have gotten into? Then he lowered his voice: A man would call in a half-hour and say he was a mutual friend and would meet Jones alone.

It was the beginning of a series of cloak-and-dagger meetings between Jones and the CIA men. Sometimes the meetings took place in hotel rooms; the CIA also favored Grand Central Terminal. Thus Jones, at the request of the CIA, reported to the agency on his activities for the frente, which in turn was being financed by the CIA.

Jones went through a harrowing escapade in September, 1960. That was the month Castro arrived in New York for the United Nations session and staged his famous chicken-plucking episode in the Shelburne Hotel in Manhattan. To counter Castro's appearance in New York, the CIA decided to dispatch two busloads of Cuban mothers from Miami to Manhattan in a "Caravan of Sorrow."

The CIA financed and organized the caravan, which was to end with the mothers praying in Saint Patrick's Cathedral. But when the chartered Greyhound buses left Miami, the CIA did not have a man aboard. Jones had made elaborate preparations for television and newspaper coverage along the way, but somehow the two busloads of mothers got lost for two days. Only one woman on the bus spoke English, and she had her problems as the caravan inched northward. Four of the women were pregnant and the buses had to stop every few miles for them. Finally the caravan got to Washington, off schedule. The CIA, which could not publicly show its hand, hurriedly called Jones in New York and asked for his help in arranging publicity in the capital. Jones called a Washington press agent he knew, who did his best.

The next day the "Caravan of Sorrow" reached Philadelphia, where Jones had it halted. He had visions of the buses pulling into New York in the dead of night sans press coverage. In the morning the Greyhounds limped into Manhattan; much to Jones' relief, a picture of the mothers praying in Saint Patrick's made the New York papers.

In Washington, there were more momentous activities at hand. As Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy battled across the autumn landscape for the presidency,*4 the CIA plan, under Bissell's guidance, was undergoing a gradual metamorphosis. From the original concept of isolated guerrilla landings, it moved toward the idea of a larger operation that really amounted to a pocket-sized invasion.

By October it was decided that a force of perhaps four hundred men would make a landing in Cuba in the late autumn. This group would be a major, well-trained and well-supplied guerrilla unit within Cuba. It would serve as a focal point for other guerrillas to rally around. At the same time, there would be a large-scale program of air drops to resupply and strengthen the guerrillas in the Escambray, the Sierra Maestra and other areas inside Cuba. Supplies would also be brought in by the CIA in small boats.

To fly the clandestine air-drop missions over Cuba, the CIA needed pilots. The story of Sergio Garcia, one of the men who flew these missions, is fairly typical.

In August, 1960, Garcia managed to smuggle his wife and newborn son out of Havana into Miami. He was screened by Americans, who also gave him a lie-detector test in a motel on Segovia Street in Coral Gables. Two nights later he was flown to Guatemala by the CIA.

For a time Garcia practiced dropping paratroops and cargo near Retalhuleu. In November he began flying a C-46 over Cuba, dropping supplies in the Escambray. The C-46s had no guns and there were Castro air force markings on them. At that time the air operations at Retalhuleu were under the supervision of an American CIA man known as "Colonel Billy Carpenter," a cover name similar to his real one. In all, dozens of overflights of Cuba were carried out by the exile pilots between November, 1960, and March, 1961.

The men flying these missions over Cuban territory were told that if they were captured they were to say they worked for an air transport company owned by the Alejos brothers and had strayed off-course. They were also told to destroy all documents beforehand. The pilots were given the telephone number of a Mr. G. in Miami. If forced down outside of Cuba, they were to call him at once.

When Garcia was briefed at Retalhuleu by the American CIA advisers, he was told to look for lights that would shine at a designated place and time for about ten minutes. As a result, the missions had to be timed to the second.

The flights would come in over the sea at fifty to a hundred feet to avoid Castro's radar. Garcia climbed to 1,000 for the drop, then zoomed back down to sea level and headed for home, chasing the wavetops. Since he frequently encountered anti-aircraft fire in areas supposed to be friendly, Garcia concluded that the CIA's contacts with the underground were not as good as they might be.

He was right. Back in Washington, Bissell and the other CIA operators were dismayed at the lack of success of the air drops. Almost without exception they were flown properly, but the guns and ammunition seldom reached their targets.

Bissell had continual difficulties in organizing the drops. He realized that unless the guerrillas had radios, small beacons and one or two trained people on the spot, the drops would miss their targets. To make an air drop successful, a guerrilla unit has to be able to communicate in code ten to twelve hours before a drop, in order to notify the senders of any change in location. But the guerrillas inside Cuba were communicating by runners back to Havana, a slow, ineffective means.

The CIA was unable to get radios, beacons and trained experts into Cuba, partly because Castro moved much more rapidly than had been anticipated in creating an effective counter-intelligence and counter-guerrilla network.

As Castro had learned when he fought against Batista in the Sierra Maestra, militiamen sent into the mountains in small groups tended to defect to the guerrillas when they made contact. Instead of sending his troops in small groups into the Escambray, Castro deployed them in large numbers around the mountains. He cordoned off the area and prevented the movement of couriers and food into the hills.

The CIA's troubles were compounded by what the Americans considered to be the impossibility of organizing a clandestine operation among "talkative" Cubans. There were leaks, and as a result, agents were being picked up by Castro's intelligence men. Messages went astray and nothing seemed to go right.

In the late fall, bad weather set in and prevented small boats from landing with equipment for the guerrillas. Later, tons of supplies were landed by boat, but the CIA was never sure they were being properly distributed once inside Cuba.

In short, for a variety of reasons, the CIA never succeeded in getting a secure and effective underground operating inside Cuba, equivalent to that inside Europe during World War II.

This was a vitally important factor, because it led directly to the decision by the CIA to abandon the guerrilla concept and to invade Cuba in strength.

On November 13, 1960, a portion of the Guatemalan Army rebelled against President Ydigoras and captured Puerto Barrios, a banana port on the Caribbean. The Cuban exile pilots at Retalhuleu were enlisted to help put down the rebellion. Apparently, the CIA reasoned that if Ydigoras were overthrown, the new government might shut down the training camps.

One Cuban pilot flew a C-46 loaded with troops to Puerto Barrios, as the CIA's B-26s bombarded the rebel stronghold. He actually touched down at the airport in Puerto Barrios, in the mistaken belief that it was in government hands. When his plane drew gunfire, the pilot immediately took off again without unloading any troops. Cuban and American pilots flew the B-26s in this secret sidelight to the Bay of Pigs operation.

The Guatemalan Army rebellion quickly collapsed and the potential threat to the CIA camps was averted. But some Guatemalan politicians later blamed the uprising on the existence of the training camps. And, unknown to the world, CIA aircraft and pilots had been used to put down an internal uprising in Guatemala.

On November 18, 1960, ten days after his victory, President-elect Kennedy summoned Dulles and Bissell to Palm Beach and received a briefing on the state of the Cuban operation.

Already, reports of the training had begun to seep into public print. It started in Guatemala on October 30, when La Hora, a Guatemala City daily, carried a front-page article by its editor, Clemente Marroquin Rojas, stating flatly that "in Guatemala an invasion of Cuba is well under way, prepared not by our own country ..."

Guatemalans were soon gossiping about the CIA's operation at the Alejos ranch. In November, also, the Hispanic American Report, edited by Ronald Hilton of Stanford University, published a story about the Retalhuleu base. The academic journal has limited circulation, but the Nation magazine, with a wider audience, picked up the Hilton disclosures in its November 19 issue, under a headline that asked: "Are We Training Cuban Guerrillas?"

The cocoon of secrecy in which the CIA had, of necessity, wrapped the Cuban operation, was beginning to unwind dangerously.

In January, as the change-over from the Eisenhower to the Kennedy Administration was taking place, things began to happen all at once, on several levels. On January 3, as one of his last diplomatic moves, President Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with Castro. In its January 7 issue the Nation unveiled a detailed story about the Retalhuleu base by Don Dwiggins, the aviation editor of the Los Angeles Mirror. Then, on January 10, real trouble came to the CIA in the form of a front-page story by Paul P. Kennedy in the New York Times, datelined Retalhuleu. It didn't mention CIA, but it told of training going on at the base under the instruction of "foreign personnel, mostly from the United States."

Hasty denials were issued in Guatemala and Washington. State Department spokesman Lincoln White said: "... As to the report of a specific base, I know absolutely nothing about it."

The exile training posed an extremely knotty problem for those newspapers which had learned something about it. The Miami papers, for example, were not unaware of what was going on under their noses. What was their responsibility to a free society, during peacetime? Was it to report the truth to their readers, or to suppress the truth for the government?

Once the Times story had run, Miami editors decided there was no further point to playing the game with the CIA. John S. Knight, the president of the Knight newspapers and owner of the Miami Herald, had withheld stories about the Guatemala and Florida training camps at the request of the highest level of the United States Government. The day after the Times broke the Retalhuleu story, the Miami Herald published a story on the Guatemalan camp, and another on the Opa-locka air traffic. A box alongside the story explained:

Publication of the accompanying story on the Miami-Guatemala airlift was withheld for more than two months by the Herald. Its release was decided upon only after U.S. aid to anti-Castro fighters in Guatemala was first revealed elsewhere.

The lid was off now, but despite the Times and Miami Herald stories, the fact that the United States was training Cuban exiles for a return to their homeland did not penetrate the mainstream of news. Most Americans remained quite unaware that an invasion was in the making.

January was the month of Kennedy's inauguration. Official Washington ignored the deep snow that blanketed the capital and attended a round of gay parties ushering in the New Frontier. In Cuba the guerrilla movement in the Escambray collapsed. With this collapse, any lingering thoughts of guerrilla infiltration disappeared. There would be a full-scale invasion. Where the landing force had been contemplated at 400 in October, it was now progressively and slowly increased in size. Recruiting was stepped up and more men and material began to flow into Retalhuleu.

Parallel to this development, pressures began to operate on President Kennedy to approve the invasion as soon as possible. The CIA warned him that the rainy season would hamper the landing and make the Guatemala camps unusable if the invasion was postponed much beyond the spring; the CIA also felt that the exiles could not be held together much longer because of morale factors.

The operation was surfacing in the press, and President Ydigoras was urging that a decision of some sort be made. Most important of all, the CIA concluded that between six months and a year from January, 1961, Russian-trained Cuban pilots would be returning to Cuba, and that that alone would make this invasion impossible.

President Kennedy and his advisers were tasting the wine of victory and of power. The young, energetic administration suffered from a bad case of overconfidence; virtually no one at the White House stopped to think about possible failure. And deep inside the secret bureaucracy, the exile operation had acquired something of a life of its own.

In Washington it is not simple to stop a project, overt or covert, once it is under way. Politically, if President Kennedy had halted the invasion plan, he would have risked criticism for abandoning a project started by President Eisenhower, a project designed to overthrow Castro and rid the hemisphere of Communism.

But beyond all that, the President relied on the strong assurances of the CIA and the less enthusiastic assurances of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the operation could succeed. He was not an expert, so he would have to take the word of the experts.

By the end of January, the CIA had selected the invasion site. It was to be the town of Trinidad, in Las Villas Province, on the southern coast of Cuba. Bissell and his advisers had selected Trinidad for tactical reasons. A landing on the south coast was mandatory, since the jumping off point for the invasion would be Central America. The north coast of Cuba would have been too far away for the invading planes and ships to operate effectively.

But along the south coast of Cuba the charts showed a barrier reef, except at the mouths of rivers. Trinidad was located at such a river mouth, and it also had a small port which could be made usable. The terrain near Trinidad offered a good chance of sealing off and securing the beachhead. In addition, Trinidad was near the Escambray. If something went wrong, it was thought, the invaders could melt into the hills to carry on the fight.

There were some drawbacks, however. The airstrip at Trinidad was not large enough to take B- 26s. And there was a detachment of Castro's militia at Trinidad, which could offer immediate resistance. On the other hand, the CIA hoped that shortly after the landing, it could recruit about 1,000 troops from the local population of approximately 5,000.

Under Eisenhower. there had never been any plan to use United States armed forces in the Cuban operation. Kennedy reached the same decision, even though the operation had changed in scope and size.

Because it was later to become a point of confusion and controversy, it should be understood that Kennedy's decision was that the formal, overt armed forces of the United States -- the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps -- would not be used in the invasion. His decision, of course, did not apply to covert forces, including the B-26s, guns, ships and Cubans under the control of the CIA. These could and would be used.

Since the operation was secret, or was supposed to be, it remained under Bissell's and the CIA's direction and control. The Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, the nation's top military commanders, were consulted as the plans developed, but they did not have primary responsibility.

The Joint Chiefs were briefed on the operation for the first time in January, 1961, although the Office of Naval Intelligence had earlier stumbled on the fact that some kind of CIA operation was under way. The ONI did not know exactly what the CIA was up to, however.

The CIA's proposal for a landing at Trinidad was sent to the Joint Chiefs for their consideration. After studying it, they submitted an opinion signed by General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, saying that the plan for a landing at Trinidad would have an even chance of success. *5

Among the Cubans sent to Guatemala after the decision to increase the size of the invasion force was Mario Abril, the private in E Company who on April 15 was to watch the B-26s droning overhead from the deck of the Houston.

He and his family had fled Cuba in 1960. A sensitive youth of nineteen, Mario had soft brown eyes and a quiet nature. But he was determined to join the fight against Castro. His experience was typical:

"I met a CIA man named Roger at La Moderne Hotel, South West 8th Street on the [Tamiami] Trail. Many of my friends from Cuba were getting training and I heard about it and that's how I got into it. Roger gave us training in explosives and in underground propaganda. Sometimes he did it right in the hotel, and sometimes he took us to the Everglades to shoot with .45-caliber guns. He was about forty years old and he was good, he knew his stuff.

"In January [1961] I heard about the training camps. I went to the recruiting office for those camps at 27th Avenue and 10th Street, South West."

"One night, March 13, they took us to an old house in Coconut Grove and we put on khaki uniforms there with blue baseball caps, boots and duffel bags. It was at night, about 8:00 P.M. We got taken into a truck and we went to Opa-locka. There was about a hundred of us and we waited there for a while. Two Americans joined us. They were dressed just like the rest of us, khaki uniforms and blue baseball caps. So they took us to a DC-4. It had no seats, you know, just seats along the side, and we were packed in on the sides. When there was no more room, they put the rest of them on the floor of the plane.

"When we arrived at Retalhuleu, it was around dawn on March 14. We had a real good breakfast there, bacon, ham, everything we wanted. That felt real good, so I began to like the looks of this place, you know, because we had such a good breakfast."

"About noon we reached camp and we got field mess, dishes and jackets, and I thought, well, we traveled all night, so maybe we rest today. But no, the same day we started shooting with M-1 rifles and they took us up eight, nine thousand feet to practice. There were clouds all around us. So that night I thought we were going to bed, because we started out the whole day before with no rest, but we had lessons in machine guns. So finally they let us go to bed and we slept a long time."

"We were in Trax Base. After about five days they gave us a choice of battalions we could join and I chose the Second Battalion because I had a couple of friends there in E Company. There were about 175 men in the battalion and 40 in E Company. Each battalion had an American instructor. Bob was the second battalion instructor. Another was Jim and another was Juan, who was the only one who spoke Spanish. The chief of the whole place was Colonel Frank.*6 He was strong, very strong, like a bull. He wore the same uniform we did. But he had a .38-caliber revolver on his hip, like all the American instructors. They all had a revolver. We took hikes and learned to shoot .50-caliber machine guns and mortars and Browning automatic rifles and bazookas."

"When it rained there, you couldn't walk, the roads were covered with water and mud. Every afternoon it rained, and it was some mess, I tell you."

"Every day the American instructors told us that we would have air cover, and that no tanks are going to fight against us. When I was training in bazookas I asked our instructor, Bob, 'What is this for? If we are not going to fight against tanks, what do you need bazookas for?' 'Just in case,' he said. And they told us that the B-26 bombers would give us control of the air."

Almost to a man, members of the brigade say that their CIA advisers promised the invaders would have "control of the air" or "air cover." Few of the Cubans claim that there was any clear promise that U.S. Air Force or Navy planes would provide this control or protection. Rather, this was the conclusion many of the exiles drew. Possibly, some of the CIA advisers wanted to leave this impression.

Under the plan, of course, it was the exile air force, specifically the B-26 bombers, that was to provide "control of the air." It would do so by knocking out Castro's air force on the ground, thus making air cover over the beaches, during the landing operations, unnecessary.

To accomplish this key objective, the CIA created a sizable air force. It had sixteen B-26s initially. During the invasion eight more were added, making a total of twenty-four. In addition, the rebels had six C-46s and six C-54s. These transports were used in the air drops over Cuba prior to the invasion, and would drop paratroops during the invasion.

To head the Cuban pilots, the CIA selected Manuel Villafana Martinez, an ex-Cuban Air Force pilot who spent three years in jail on a conspiracy charge against Batista. Luis Cosme, the ex-Cuban Air Force fighter pilot who led the April 15 B-26 strike, was named deputy chief.

There were sixty-one Cuban pilots at Retalhuleu, plus navigators, radio operators and maintenance men. Six American instructors stayed with these pilots throughout the months of training and the invasion. Others were rotated in and out.

"Billy Carpenter," the Air Force colonel who was the chief American adviser at first, was replaced by "Lou," who was in turn replaced by "Gar," the top CIA air operations adviser during the actual invasion. Other American advisers included "Billy Belt," a young blond instructor; "Stevens," who told Cubans he had false teeth because the Chinese Communists had pulled out his real ones during the Korean War; and "Seig Simpson," a tall, ruddy-faced man who had a Japanese wife.

None of the CIA advisers used their real names, although several used correct first names. General G. Reid Doster, the chief of staff of the Alabama National Guard, at Birmingham, used the name "Reid" when he was at Retalhuleu as a CIA adviser. Many of the CIA instructors were from the Birmingham area. Several of the Americans were recruited by the CIA through a Miami front from among National Guard pilots who had flown B-26s in World War II.

The B-26s had two-man crews and no tail gunners or guns. These were eliminated to make room for extra fuel to increase the range of the bombers. Each bomber that took off from Happy Valley normally carried ten 2600 pound bombs or six 500-pounders. In addition, each was armed with eight five-inch rockets and eight 50-caliber machine guns, each with 360 rounds of ammunition. Although the normal take-off weight for a B-26 is 36,000 pounds, these bombers lumbered off the runways at 40,000 pounds. They were formidable machines of war, but Castro's jets could fly higher and faster. And without tail guns, the bombers were defenseless from the rear.

By now the training camps had become a sensitive politica1 issue in Guatemala. Early in February, President Ydigoras wrote a letter to President Kennedy, saying that morale in the camps was high and the troops ready for action. He urged that the invasion take place immediately. Behind his move was the private alarm of the Guatemalan Government over the unrest in the camps. From their viewpoint, the sooner the invasion, the sooner the camps could be closed and the whole thorny issue removed.

Roberto Alejos flew to Washington with the Ydigoras letter. He called on President Kennedy at the White House and also met with Allen Dulles.

As the pressure mounted, in late February and early March, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs were having trouble behind the scenes in agreeing on a landing site for the invasion. About two weeks after the Joint Chiefs had given a landing at Trinidad a fifty-fifty chance, three alternative sites were submitted to them by the CIA, which had decided it no longer favored Trinidad, partly because the airstrip there was too small for B-26s.

The Joint Chiefs studied the three alternate sites overnight, then held one meeting. They then said the best of the alternate sites would be the Bay of Pigs, but that there would be less chance of ultimate success at the Bay of Pigs than at Trinidad to the east. Nevertheless, they advised that the invasion go ahead in any event.

The Chiefs selected the Bay of Pigs mainly because there were only two access roads leading to the beach. These highways were flanked by swamps. Castro's forces would have to come this way, and the roads could be bombed by the invaders. By the same token, the Chiefs warned that it would be more difficult for the invaders to break out of the beachhead at the Bay of Pigs than at Trinidad. The CIA's military experts, however, felt the Bay of Pigs was at least as good a site as Trinidad, or better.

While this was going on in Washington, in Guatemala the CIA was having trouble with a group of Cubans who objected to Artime and Captain Jose Perez San Roman, the CIA's hand-picked leaders. The dissidents received rough treatment from the CIA. They were flown to a remote jungle airstrip at Sayaxche, in Peten Province, and then spirited upriver in canoes to a point where the CIA maintained what was euphemistically called a "reindoctrination camp." Actually, it was a CIA prison from which the bitter Cubans were released only after the Bay of Pigs.

From the beginning the CIA had taken political as well as operational control of the exile movement, and it tended to favor the more conservative elements in the community. Now a rival group appeared on the scene.

In May, 1960, Manolo Ray, the Minister of Public Works under Castro, broke with the regime and went underground. In November he escaped to the United States. Ray maintained that he believed in the original social aims of Castro's revolution, but he took the position that Castro had betrayed those aims by leading Cuba down the Communist path. Ray and his followers belonged to the Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo, the MRP. It presented a strong competitor on the left to the CIA's frente on the right.

With the target date for the invasion fast approaching, something had to be done to prevent a political split in the exile ranks. Under CIA prodding, the frente and the MRP were tenuously patched together in a new organization, the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Selected to head the Council was Dr. Jose Miro Cardona, a colorless but dignified fifty-nine-year-old former Havana attorney. The son of a Spanish general who fought for Cuban independence, he was Premier of Cuba for the first six weeks of Castro's regime. He had resigned as Premier but was named Ambassador to the United States by Castro in July, 1960. Instead of taking the job, Cardona went into asylum in the Argentine Embassy. He came to the United States three months later on a safe- conduct pass.

The formation of the Council was announced in New York on March 22 at a press conference arranged by Lem Jones. On April 3 the State Department released a White Paper on Cuba. It was not generally realized at the time, but the document was designed to prepare public opinion at home and abroad for the secret invasion now only two weeks away. The White Paper said the Castro regime "offers a clear and present danger" to genuine social, economic and political reform in the Americas. Castro had betrayed the revolution, it said, and Cuba had become "a Soviet satellite." Clearly, it was an attempt to provide a form of philosophical underpinning for the imminent clandestine invasion.

Behind the scenes in Washington, a few voices were raised in opposition to the invasion. Senator J. William Fulbright, the outspoken Arkansas Democrat who headed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was invited by the President to ride with him to Palm Beach on March 30. Fulbright, who had heard rumors of the invasion plans, handed a memorandum to the President when he boarded Air Force One, the presidential jet.

It is worth quoting from, because Fulbright displayed an almost uncanny clairvoyance about what was to come:

Millions of people still think the United States instigated the Castillo-Armas invasion of Guatemala in 1954; but the U.S. hand in that enterprise was far better covered than it is today with regard to the Cuban exiles. Furthermore, as the Cuban exiles intensify their activities aimed at overthrowing Castro, the more difficult it will become to conceal the U.S. hand ...

Consideration must also be given to the nature and composition of the government which succeeds Castro ... The Front ... is without the kind of leadership necessary to provide a strong, vigorous liberal government ...

The prospect must also be faced that an invasion of Cuba by exiles would encounter formidable resistance which the exiles, by themselves, might not be able to overcome. The question would then arise of whether the United States would be willing to let the enterprise fail (in the probably futile hope of concealing the U.S. role) or whether the United States would respond with progressive assistance as necessary to insure success. This would include ultimately the use of armed force; and if we came to that, even under the paper cover of legitimacy, we would have undone the work of thirty years in trying to live down earlier interventions. We would also have assumed the responsibility for public order in Cuba, and in the circumstances this would unquestionably be an endless can of worms. [1]

Fulbright also suggested that "even covert support of a Castro overthrow" probably violated the treaty of the Organization of American States as well as United States neutrality laws.

On April 4 the President met with his top advisers at the State Department. He went around the table asking their opinion on the invasion plan. Only Fulbright, who had been invited by the President to attend, spoke up firmly against the operation.

From the start the CIA had established liaison with the State Department to keep the tight circle of officials privy to the plan informed of its progress. Late in 1960, when Christian A. Herter was still Secretary of State, he had named Whiting Willauer, former Ambassador to Honduras, as his special assistant for the Cuban operation.

The CIA assigned Tracy Barnes *7 to maintain liaison with Willauer. Previously, Barnes had been under cover in the embassy in London. After the Kennedy Administration took over, Willauer was dropped, but Barnes continued to report to the State Department. Principally, he spoke to Adolf A. Berle, a Latin American adviser to the President, and Thomas C. Mann, then Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American affairs. They were among the few department officials besides Dean Rusk who knew about the invasion.

Late in March, Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles, during a period as Acting Secretary, learned of the invasion plan. On March 31 he wrote a memo to Rusk opposing it. He also asked Rusk to guarantee him half an hour to present his opposition to President Kennedy in the event the plan was approved. However, Bowles came away from his talk with Rusk with the belief that there would be no large-scale invasion. In the remaining two and a half weeks Bowles paid little attention to the matter; he had formed the impression it would be, at most, a small guerrilla landing.

Early in April the Cuban pilots at Retalhuleu were handed sealed envelopes and told to open them only after they were in the air. They obeyed. The orders were to proceed to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, the misnamed Happy Valley that was to be their home for the next few weeks. The entire air operation, including the American advisers, moved from Guatemala to Happy Valley. The exile brigade was airlifted to Puerto Cabezas, their port of embarkation. There, a CIA fleet had been assembled. What amounted to a sizable secret navy had been put together by the CIA chiefly under cover of the Garcia Line Corporation, of 17 Battery Place, New York.

The steamship line was Cuba's biggest. The twenty-five-year-old company, headed by Alfredo Garcia, owned half a dozen vessels. It had main offices in New York and Havana. It also had branch offices in Houston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, cities for which two of its ships were named. In the pre-Castro era it plied between East Coast ports, Havana and Central America, carrying rice and sugar.

After Castro, Alfredo Garcia's five sons, Eduardo, Marcos, Alfredo Jr., Lisardo and Francisco, came to the United States. The CIA needed a navy, and the Garcia Line, since it was Cuban-owned and the only Cuban shipping company still operating from Havana, was perfect cover. And the Garcias wanted to help, despite the risks.

The CIA secretly leased the ships. Working chiefly with Eduardo, the agency then mapped out a complex plan to get the vessels to Puerto Cabezas at the last possible moment. The line continued to serve Castro right up to the invasion. Alfredo remained behind in Cuba, which further served to divert suspicion. (He didn't leave there until March 21.)*8

As D-Day approached, one by one the Houston, Lake Charles, Rio Escondido, Caribe and Atlantico sailed for Puerto Cabezas. Their crews were told nothing at first, and believed they were on a normal voyage to Central America. At Puerto Cabezas they were informed about the invasion and given the choice of leaving. A few did -- they were held by the CIA at Puerto Cabezas until the invasion was over.

Each of the ships had about twenty-five crewmen, so there were more than a hundred seamen in all who suddenly found themselves in the middle of a shooting war. The ships were 2,400 tons, except for the smaller Rio Escondido. The CIA also purchased two World War II LCIs, the Blagar and Barbara J., and added them to the invasion fleet.

The Garcia Line provided cover as well as transportation; some of the exiles recruited by the CIA were handed papers to fill out that led them to believe they were signing up, technically at least, as able-bodied hands with the Garcia Line.

While the CIA assembled its secret navy, there were important political moves back in the United States. On April 8 Miro Cardona, in a press conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, issued a call to arms urging Cubans to rise up and overthrow Fidel Castro. The same day Federal Immigration agents in Miami arrested Rolando Masferrer, a notorious Batista henchman who, under the dictator, had run a much-feared and much-hated private army known as "The Tigers."

Masferrer, who had fled Cuba the same day as Batista, was spirited to Jackson Memorial Hospital after his arrest and placed under guard. A "No Visitors" sign was posted on the door. The hospital listed Masferrer as a "possible coronary," but an attending physician told newsmen: There seems to be some misrepresentation. No coronary is evident."

Masferrer, it was announced, had been picked up as the result of a letter from Dean Rusk to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, which said in part: "The continued presence at large of Rolando Masferrer in the United States and particularly in Florida is prejudicial to our national interest from the point of view of our foreign relations." Two days later a Federal grand jury indicted Masferrer on charges of conspiring to outfit and send a military expedition against Cuba, a violation of the United States neutrality laws.*9

Masferrer was charged with breaking the law for mounting an invasion of Cuba -- ten days before the government mounted its own secret invasion. Masferrer's character and reputation are irrelevant to the cynical manner of his arrest.

Ten days after the Bay of Pigs disaster Federal Judge Emmett C. Choate ordered Masferrer released and accused the Federal Government of having shipped him off to a "government concentration camp" in Texas. Assistant United States Attorney Paul Gifford said the Immigration Service acted on direct orders from President Kennedy. "The President," said Judge Choate, "has no authority to direct anyone to disobey the law." Seven months later, on November 9, 1961, the government quietly dropped the case against Masferrer without explanation.

One possible reason for Masferrer's arrest is that the administration believed that charging him with invading Cuba would divert suspicion from the government's own invasion plans, then in the final stage of preparation. It was a case of a straight political arrest, something not normally associated with life in the United States.

In addition, the President believed that Masferrer's arrest would demonstrate to the exiles and the world that the United States had no sympathy for Batista supporters. This became clear on April 12, when the President told his news conference:

"The Justice Department's recent indictment of Mr. Masferrer, of Florida, on the grounds that he was plotting an invasion of Cuba, from Florida, in order to establish a Batista-like regime, should indicate the feelings of this country towards those who wish to re-establish that kind of an administration inside Cuba."

On April 10, at a White House meeting, the final decision was made to change the landing site from Trinidad to the Bay of Pigs. President Kennedy personally approved the change. The CIA believed that this was a political and foreign-policy decision by the President, prompted by concern over potential world reaction. There would be no shooting of civilians at the Bay of Pigs because hardly anyone lived there, while at Trinidad there was a sizable local population.

It was also thought that the landing at the Bay of Pigs would be virtually unopposed and would have the appearance of an effort to resupply guerrillas, of being a smaller and more spontaneous operation. In short, that it would have better cover.

Despite the fact that the Joint Chiefs predicted the invasion would have less than an even chance at the Bay of Pigs, they went along with the choice.

The Chiefs normally make a distinction between the initial chances of success and ultimate success. In this case, they pointed out that success after the establishment of a beachhead depended upon certain psychological factors inside Cuba, factors which it was not the responsibility of the military to assess. What the Joint Chiefs meant, of course, was that the question of whether the militia and people of Cuba would rise up if sparked by an invasion was an intelligence problem that fell within the purview of the CIA.

The CIA predicted there would be such an uprising if the beachhead could be established and held. The intelligence agency forecast no immediate uprising inside Cuba. Rather, it argued that all would depend on the success of the operation. If the landing was successful, Bissell expected defections among Cubans, although he did not expect them for at least a week after the invasion. The plan was to establish a beachhead; then use the Bay of Pigs airstrip to strike at Castro's communications, and other vital installations. A new Cuban government would be declared at the beachhead by the Council members, and it would then be recognized by the United States. If all this could be done, the CIA argued, Cuba would break wide open.*10

The final week before D-Day, the Joint Chiefs were, by and large, an unhappy group. Some of them were irritated by the continual changes in the invasion plan. Accustomed to the strict discipline of an Eisenhower, they were bewildered by what they considered the informality and lack of procedures of the new administration.

Although Admiral Arleigh Burke has declined to comment on the Bay of Pigs, he was disturbed at the way the plan was being constantly modified. At one point Burke was told that the Navy would have to stay outside the three-mile limit off Cuba. Then it became the twelve-mile limit; then the twenty-mile limit. He was first told that the Navy would not make contact with the invasion fleet at all; then that three destroyers could escort the ships, then two destroyers. At one point the Navy was told that submarines could be deployed in the area, then it was told: "No submarines."

The Chiefs were told that the invasion was not a Pentagon operation and that they could give advice only when called upon. Because of the secrecy involved, they were not allowed to take their staffs into their confidence; this, of course, cut down on their overall effectiveness.

It was made crystal-clear to the Pentagon that no United States armed forces were to be used in the actual invasion; however, Burke's destroyers could escort the exile fleet to a point offshore. If the ships were spotted en route to Cuba from Puerto Cabezas, they were to turn around and head back to port. In this event, United States ships and aircraft had the authority to protect the fleet against attack as it returned to Nicaragua.

In April, Burke was acting as the executive agent for the Joint Chiefs. In that role, and in his capacity as Chief of Naval Operations, he ordered elements of the Atlantic Fleet to move into position off Cuba. Moving with the fleet was a battalion of Marines from their base at Vieques Island, off the eastern end of Puerto Rico.

The President had made it clear the Navy was not to take part in the invasion itself. But it was possible that if the landing ran into trouble the President would change his mind and order the Navy and Marines to help. For this reason Burke moved his ships into position off Cuba; he informed both Allen Dulles and the President of his action.

Now the President stated publicly what he had privately decided: On April 12, at his news conference, he served notice that no United States forces would invade Cuba. He was asked how far the United States would go in helping "an anti-Castro uprising or invasion of Cuba." He replied:

"First, I want to say that there will not be, under any conditions, an intervention in Cuba by the United States armed forces. This government will do everything it possibly can, and I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba."

The next day Cuban crew members of the eight B-26s that were to fly in the April 15 raid went into security isolation at Happy Valley. If forced down outside of Cuba, the pilots were instructed to say they were defecting FAR pilots. This was so that their statements would dovetail with Zuniga's cover story in Miami. They were warned not to land at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo.

Now, four days before D-Day, the CIA 's fleet sailed from Puerto Cabezas. The second and fifth battalions were crammed aboard the Houston, along with large quantities of ammunition. Their target was Playa Larga, at the upper end of the Bay of Pigs. The third and fourth battalions, both heavy-weapons detachments, and the sixth infantry battalion were aboard the Rio Escondido and the other ships. Their objective was Giron Beach, on the eastern edge of the wide bay, which pokes like a finger into the southern coast of Cuba. The first battalion, the paratroopers, would be going in by air behind the beaches.

On Saturday, April 15, as the fleet steamed for Cuba, the B-26 bombers struck. Zuniga landed in Miami, and Roa and Stevenson clashed in the UN. Now, on Sunday, April 16, at Happy Valley, the CIA assembled the Cuban pilots. The American advisers told the Cubans that Castro's planes had been destroyed by the raid the previous day. They displayed a blowup of a U-2 photo to support their contention.

Actually, one of the U-2 photos taken in these final hours before the landing alarmed the CIA. It showed gravel piled on the runways of the airstrip at the Bay of Pigs.

Aboard the Houston this Sunday, Private Mario Abril and the other men of E Company attended briefings by their commanders. They were shown aerial photographs to help them memorize landmarks.

"They gave us whiskey in little cans, real bad, yeah, black. I didn't wait, I drank mine right there. I got my ammunition. I got a whole metal can of cartridges, and six hand grenades. My gun, I cleaned up. I tied the bandoleers around my chest and I got ready. That was 5:00 P.M. At six, we got a speech by the boss. He told us not to smoke, not to light a light or anything, because we were getting near Cuba.

"So I couldn't smoke, I thought the best thing to do was rest. I knew we were going to have a hard time, so I lay down on the deck. It was 6:30. The next thing I know, they woke me up. It was dark. My squad leader woke me up, and when I got up, I saw the coast over there. We were really there then. I saw, on my right, some lights, like a storm, you know, and they told me those were the other guys. They were on Giron Beach. They were already fighting.

"I looked at my watch and it was around 1:30 in the morning. The ship started to slow down. We were there. We were in the Bay of Pigs."

The date was revealed by Eisenhower at a Cincinnati press conference June 13, 1961, following the Bay of Pigs disaster. The former chief executive said he had issued orders when President to "take measures to help these people organize and to help train them and equip them."

Besides Artime's MRR and Varona, who headed the Movimiento de Rescate Revolucionario, the frente members were Jose Ignacio Rasco of the Movimiento Democratico Cristiano; Justo Carrillo of the Asociacion Montecristi; and Aureliano Sanchez Arango, former Foreign Minister of Cuba and head of the Triple A, which later pulled out of the frente.

Davis continued to coordinate the Cuban operation for CIA from the embassy at Guatemala City. U.S. Ambassador John J. Muccio was generally aware of what was going on at Helvetia but did not become officially involved, since the operation was "black."

As will be shown in a later chapter, the invasion preparations played a major part in the secret behind-the-scenes calculations of both the Nixon and Kennedy camps during the 1960 presidential campaign.

Lemnitzer acted for himself, Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations; General Thomas D. White, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; General George H. Decker, Army Chief of Staff; and General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps. Later, some of the chief's papers were signed by Burke, in the absence of Lemnitzer.

*6 An ex-Marine who had fought at Iwo Jima in World War II. Later some CIA analysts concluded it would have been wiser to choose a commander with experience in battalion-strength landings rather than a massive assault like Iwo Jima. The first commander of Trax Base was "Colonel Vallejo," a high ex-Philippine Army officer who had fought the Huks. He was replaced by "Colonel Frank" when the CIA shifted from a guerilla operation to a larger amphibious landing.

The CIA man who briefed Stevenson in April.

The day after the invasion Castro seized the company, but of course, Alfredo had already fled. Later, disheartened by the failure of the invasion, he sold the ships that weren't sunk and liquidated the steamship line.

However, after the Bay of Pigs, Attorney General Robert Kennedy disagreed with a legal brief submitted by 132 lawyers charging that the CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion violated United States and international law. "The neutrality laws," said the Attorney General, "are among the oldest laws in our statute books ... Clearly they were not designed for the kind of situation which exists in the world today ... No activities engaged in by Cuban patriots which have been brought to our attention appear to be violations of our neutrality laws."

After the invasion failed, the CIA was accused of making a faulty prediction that there would be an uprising. Allen Dulles responded in his book, The Craft of Intelligence, by stating: "I know of no estimate that a spontaneous uprising of the unarmed population of Cuba would be touched off by the landing." Dulles clearly chose his words with great care. His statement amounted only to a denial that the CIA had forecast a "spontaneous" uprising at the moment of the "landing."

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