Bay of Pigs

The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a U.S. CIA–backed attempt by Cuban counterrevolutionaries to topple the socialist regime of Fidel Castro in 1961. Its failure became an international embarrassment for the United States. The invasion was named after the location of the landing, Bahía de Cochinos, on the southern coast of the westernmost part of the island. The English translation of the place name is a slight misinterpretation. The place derives its name from a fish called cochino. However, in Spanish, cochino also means “pig.” In Cuba, the invasion is also known as Invasión de Playa Girón, after one of the landing beaches. This entry first describes the background of the Cuban revolution of 1959, the civic discontent leading to subsequent efforts to change the ...

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