The United States government was probably reluctant to entertain any relations with a communist state or nation. During the cold war between the US and the Soviet Union Republic, the two countries engaged in shuttle diplomacy, economic policy determination amid other foreign policies in a bid to win over nations into their own principles. Interestingly, Cuba, a country located in the American continent, embraced and supported communism under the leadership of Fidel Castro. The United States of America was not amused. They decided to engage in a number of activities primarily determined to get full control of Cuba. The government, under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, was more than determined to overthrow Castro’s government.
The use of terrorism to sabotage the Cuban government and economy
The first and of course futile terrorist attempt by the United States was courtesy of Cuban exiles in America. With training and support of United States based Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the exiles mounted a spirited revolt dubbed the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The motive of American support for the invasion was for the exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government. CIA had directly trained the exiles and even substantially funded their military activities. Surprisingly, the invasion did not even last three days. Cuban armed forces, trained, funded and equipped by Eastern Bloc of nations, essentially the Soviet Union, easily defeated and contained the invading rebels. This outcome marked the initial defeat of United States in the war against communist Cuba. Fidel Castro had demonstrated effective leadership and absolute control.
The United States of America did not stop at that. They soon settled for another line of action. Still under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, a government top organ committee dubbed the Cuban Project was launched. It was referred to as Operation Mongoose or the Special Group Augmented in other quarters. The mandate of the committee was clear. They were to economically, politically and socially sabotage the Cuban government. In addition, they were charged with the singular responsibility of dispensing with one, Fidel Castro whom they did see as the backbone of communism in the larger American continent. It should be appreciated that Operation Mongoose, covertly under CIA, was charged with indirect terrorism so as to undermine Cuba and its political leadership.
It is noted that the total number of plans amounted to thirty three. However, not all of them were effectively carried out. Some of the plans undertaken, which of course, took a purely terrorist direction are briefly discussed as follows. One of them was the wanton and blatant destruction of Cuban sugar plantations. The United States knew the Cuban economy relied heavily on sugar. Destruction of the plantations would entirely sabotage the government and cause economic imbalance. It was the feeling of Kennedy’s men that such imbalance could shake the conscious of the Cuban nation causing revolutions by the citizenry. America would then capitalize on the same to overthrow Fidel Castro. Another tactic was the mining of Cuban harbours. Harbours have been an important gateway to Cuba. All trade, communication and transportation especially in relation to goods in one way or another rely on harbours. It was correctly observed by America that mining these harbours would cripple Cuba and possibly compel them into surrendering to the American system of commerce which was pure capitalism.
The worst terrorist activity America contemplated in regard to the Cuban affair could be reported in light of the Cuban Missile Crisis which essentially pitted the Soviet Union against the United States of America. In the missile warfare, the actions deviated from the normal script. America no longer engaged in indirect terrorist activity. Instead, Kennedy almost by a whisker allowed the use of nuclear weaponry. However, it should be noted that, with the deceleration of the cold war, America was soon to resort back to its indirect terrorist activities against Cuba.
Assassination plot of Fidel Castro
A number of reports have cast aspersions as to America’s intention to assassinate Fidel Castro. It is noteworthy that the accuracy of these aspersions is debatable. However, CIA, under the auspices of Operation Mongoose reportedly considered eliminating Fidel Castro through two main modes. The first option entailed the poisoning of cigars likely to be used by Fidel Castro. America had the minute detail of Castro’s penchant for cigars. It was recorded that CIA was to incorporate lethal poison in cigars that would later be served to Fidel Castro.
Another way out entailed the explosion of the scuba diving site which was Fidel Castro’s popular recreational site. It would be convenient to explode the sea site during one of Castro’s visitations. In total, CIA tried six hundred and thirty eight separate schemes designed to assassinate Fidel Castro. Obviously, all the attempts failed. Incidentally, according to history records, John F, Kennedy was assassinated on the eve of the day that CIA had also intended to assassinate Fidel Castro. Whether, they (CIA) would have succeeded had Kennedy being alive remains debatable.
Soviet support of their allies compared to the United States Support of its allies
It can be argued that Soviet Union was more involved and committed in supporting its allies economically, socially and politically as compared to United States of America. America’s support is only limited to Marshall’s Plan that provided economic ignition of fallen European nations. However, the Soviet Union did not provide an equivalent Marshall Plan, but also assisted more through participation. In Cuba, for instance, Soviet Union maintained a military presence, financing and training Castro’s troops as well as established trading relations with Cuba being one of Cuba’s largest export markets.
Sullivan, M. P. (2011). Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress. New York: Dianne Publishing.
Zebich-Knos, M., & Nicol, H. N. (2006). Foreign Policy Toward Cuba: Isolation Or Engagement? New York: Lexington Books.