235. 4/16/1961

“As it happened, the U-2 reconnaissance on the Sunday [April 16, 1961], the day after that raid, showed that they had not wiped out the Cuban air force. [Fidel] Castro still had some thing like three T-33 trainers with machine guns and four C-Furies, British-built, single-engine fighter-bombers, and one B-26 left. I think they had eight planes left and six pilots to fly them. That’s on the revolutionary side. The CIA went to [President John F] Kennedy and asked permission for another pre-invasion raid to finish off the Cuban air force. There had already been such a stink about the Saturday raid. It had gone around the world and the Cuban had shown it all on television. It was so transparent. Everyone knew that these were not defecting pilots from the Cuban air force, but they were CIA people, so Kennedy decided they would not have another raid before the invasion. They would be able to fly support once the invasion occurred. This decision of his not to have a second raid was one of the principal reasons why the whole thing failed. The other reason was that there was no uprising, and that was one of the essential conditions. It happened that the Cubans, the revolutionary government, had a very effective security and intelligence organization. From the time that Fidel [Castro] and the other were in prison on the Isle on Pines they were developing these services. They had been very effective in penetrating the exile community. They knew everything that was going on They knew the invasion was coming.”

Philip Agee, “A Century of War and Bad Faith; Cuba History, and the CIA,” Prevailing Winds Magazine, March 9, 1994, Pages 28-29

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