Deception and Decisions: The Central Intelligence Agency, Two Presidents, and the Bay of Pigs Invasion


  • Nathan Heiman Wichita State University


communism, Central Intelligence Agency, Fidel Castro, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bay of Pigs, Trinidad Plan


In 1959, Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba after overthrowing dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro and his revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, were viewed with suspicion by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his administration, and by the end of the year, Castro's regime presented a grave problem to the outgoing president due to the far left-leaning politics of the group. The fear of Communism spreading throughout the Western Hemisphere in the relatively early stages of the Cold War was prevalent in American politics throughout the 1950s, and preventing such a fear from becoming a reality was a top priority. The possibility of a communist government only ninety miles away from the United States mainland did not sit well with Eisenhower or any other top national security official. The officials were well aware of the ramifications of Cuba becoming a strategic puppet for the Soviet Union, and they were willing to entertain any ideas to neutralize Castro and his regime. One such concept included President Dwight David Eisenhower authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency to plot the overthrow of the Cuban government. However, throughout the planning stage of the mission, the misinformation provided by the CIA to Presidents Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, as well as Kennedy's own poor decisions in the weeks leading up to the invasion, ultimately doomed its chances for success.