Ninety miles from the US coast of Florida, dictators and zealots ruled the island of Cuba for hundreds of years. The last half of the 20th century saw dictator Fulgencio Batista deposed by rebel leader Fidel Castro and his followers. Proclaiming himself a supporter of Cubanism not Communism, Castro’s nationalization of agriculture and businesses revealed a different side. Thousands of Cubans departed by air and sea en route to the US and Europe. The US government, alerted by the Central Intelligence Agency, became concerned when an alliance forged between Castro and Nikita Khrushchev brought arms and ammunition to the island so close to US shores. John F. Kennedy, sworn into office as the 35th president when critical actions required attention, did not immediately approve the plan without considerable evaluation. The Agency hierarchy enjoyed power and influence and at times withheld critical pieces of the plan. The CIA hatched a plan to have Castro removed and enlist the Cuban exiles to be trained by US agents and invade the island to establish a new government. The operation, an invasion at the Bay of Pigs, or Bahia de Cochinos, began during the administration of President Eisenhower with participation from all departments of government up to the Oval Office. Brigade 2506 – as the exile force called themselves – was trained in Guatemala and Nicaragua by Agency representatives. With patched up B-26s from the “boneyard” in Tucson, Arizona and commercial vessels leased from an exile in New York, the Brigade had an active military force. Former military pilots, students, farmers, lawyers and doctors comprised the group who opposed Castro and wanted to be part of his takedown. Three days after the invasion at the beach, all hell broke loose.