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In a meeting at the White House on January 3 1961, described by Richard Bissell, CIA Director of Plans, in his book Memoirs of a Cold Warrior: from Yalta to Bay of Pigs, Eisenhower "seemed to be eager to take forceful action against Castro, and breaking off diplomatic relations appeared to be his best card. He noted that he was prepared to 'move against Castro' before Kennedy's inauguration on the twentieth if a 'really good excuse' was provided by Castro. 'Failing that,' he said, 'perhaps we could think of manufacturing something that would be generally acceptable.' …This is but another example of his willingness to use covert action-specifically to fabricate events-to achieve his objectives in foreign policy."
By the time Kennedy took office in January 1961, he had already made serious commitments to the Cuban exiles, promising to oppose communism at every opportunity, and supporting the overthrow of Castro. During the campaign, Kennedy had repeatedly accused Eisenhower of not doing enough about Castro.
Eisenhower, Kennedy and other high ranking U.S. officials continually denied any plans to attack Cuba, but as early as October 31 1960, Cuban Foreign Minister Raúl Roa, in a session at the U.N. General Assembly, was able to provide details on the recruitment and training of the Cuban exiles, whom he referred to as mercenaries and counterrevolutionaries. [The CIA recruits were paid $400 a month to train, with an additional allotment of $175 for their wives and more for their children.]
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