Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) As the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs continued into its second day, 53 years ago today, April 18, 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent a message to President John F. Kennedy warning that his "little war" against Cuba might result in an...
"incomparable conflagration between the US and Soviet Union."
JFK, who continued to deny any direct involvement by American forces in the invasion, responded by writing...
"I trust that this does not mean the Soviet government, using the situation in Cuba as a pretext, is planning to inflame other areas of the world."
President Kennedy went on in his reply to say that while the US was not involved directly in the invasion:
"the people of the United States do not conceal their admiration for Cuban patriots who wish to see a democratic system in an independent Cuba.
The United States government can take no action to stifle the spirit of liberty."
In the first 24 hours of the invasion, Fidel Castro ordered 20,000 Cuban troops to the beach at the Bay of Pigs while the Cuban Air Force took control of the sky.
When the fighting ended, more than a hundred exiles were dead and the rest captured.
The Bay of Pigs fiasco has been listed as one of the "Top 10 Presidential Mistakes".
JFK publicly accepted responsibility a few days later and said to friends privately...
"How could I have been so stupid?"