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Bay of Pigs Redux in Venezuela?

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Bay of Pigs Redux in Venezuela?

Bay of Pigs Redux in Venezuela?
May 08
15:40 2020

The recent attack on Venezuela brought back memories of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.  The Kennedy administration had authorized an invasion into Cuba to kick off an uprising against the despotic regime of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  A flotilla of 1400 paramilitary fighters – mostly Cuban exiles– were to enter island nation through the Bay of Pigs.  The invasion had the initial support of the U.S. government.  It was partially funded by the CIA and preceded by aerial bombing by the American Air Force.

The plan was not only ill-advised and ill-planned, but it was also an embarrassing and tragic failure.  When word of the invasion got out, President Kennedy withdrew all American support – leaving the invasion force hopelessly stranded.  The invaders were defeated.  Those not killed were imprisoned.

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On May 4, it was reported that a heavily armed number of Venezuelans and two Americans were speeding by boat to the coast of Venezuela.  This was not an invasion on the scale of the Bay or Pigs.  It was more like the invasion of New York City by the military of the fictional Duchy of Grand Fenwick in the movie “The Mouse that Roared” – only not as funny.

Unlike the Bay of Pigs, there is no evidence that the United States government was aware or supported the plan – but there are skeptics.

The Wall Street Journal reported the invasion as a “ragtag band of fighters”  who were “seasick  and vomiting aboard fishing boats packed with guns, ammo and two-way radios.”  Venezuelan Dictator Nicolás Maduro described them as “terrorists.”

Their plan was to topple the regime in Caracas by arresting top officials of the Venezuelan government – presumably including Maduro.  The Americans arrested – including Airan Berry and Luke Denman – were employees of Silvercorp, a Florida-based security company.  The owner of the firm, Jordan Goudreau, a retired Green Beret, and Javier Nieto, a one-time captain in the Venezuelan army, posted a video stating that “Operation Gedeon” was successful in launching military actions in the “heart of Caracas” – though there has been no evidence of such activity.

The actual flotilla never successfully landed onshore.  They were intercepted by Venezuelan forces and even shot at by local fishermen.  Eight of the would-be invaders were killed and 13 captured.

Regardless of official denials – and like the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs invasion — the failed attempted coup in the Caribbean has been a setback for American diplomacy in the region – and for the movement behind Juan Guaidó , who many nations recognize as the legitimate Venezuelan head-of-state.

For the moment, the hapless and hopeless “invasion of Venezuela” appears to have served the interests of Maduro and America’s enemies around the globe.  And that is a pity.

So, there ‘tis.

 

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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