50 years later: More Bay of Pigs invasion secret papers released by CIA
(MiamiHerald) On the 50th anniversary of the infamous Bay of Pigs invasion, the Central Intelligence Agency has released more of it long-held secret papers on its failed 1961 Cuba operation to overthrow Fidel Castro.
BY LUISA YANEZ
The secret documents were released in Washington, D.C., pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act filed by Peter Kornbluh, an activist who has long sough to unmask U.S. secret operations in Latin America.
In past years, Kornbluh has won the release of other Bay of Pigs records. He announced the release of the latest batch on Monday.
Kornbluh said the CIA posted the four volumes of documents of its “Official History of the Bay of Pigs,” when 1,500 Cuban exiles invaded their homeland from Guatemala and Nicaragua between April 17-19, 1961. Many were captured and sent to prison in Cuba and 104 died in the effort. Hundreds of Bay of Pigs veterans live in South Florida.
The newly-released archives include Volume 2: “Participation in the Conduct of Foreign Policy” ( Part 1 | Part 2), which contains detailed information on the CIA’s negotiations with Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Great Britain on support for the invasion.
“The CIA has finally seen the wisdom of letting the public scrutinize this major debacle in the covert history of U.S. foreign policy,” said Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba Documentation Project, in a news release.
Kornbluh said the agency has yet to release Volume 5 of its official history.
“That volume is the CIA’s rebuttal to the stinging CIA’s Inspector General’s report, done in the immediate aftermath of the invasion, which held CIA officials accountable for a wide variety of mistakes, miscalculations and deceptions that characterized the failed invasion,” Kornbluh said in his release.
The National Security Archive obtained the declassification of the secret Inspector General’s report in 1998.
According to Kornbluh, “Volume 2 provides new details on the negotiations and tensions with other countries, including Great Britain, which the CIA needed to provide logistical and infrastructure support for the invasion preparations.’’
He said the volume “describes Kennedy Administration efforts to sustain the cooperation of Guatemala, where the main CIA-led exile brigade force was trained, as well as the deals made with Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza to gain his support for the invasion.”
The documents can be viewed at The National Security Archive at NSArchive.org
In April, The Miami Herald/ElNuevoHerald published a three-part series on the invasion, along with database listing the names of all the men who took part in the April 1961 effort.