On the occasion of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Havana, WhoWhatWhy is pleased to present these exclusive excerpts of a compelling new documentary on the history of Cuban-American relations and the embargo.
Rejected by the US and embraced by the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro and Cuba quickly were drawn into the maelstrom of the Cold War. But the “Maximum Leader” was not the only head of state who found himself in a perilous situation not of his own making.
Even before John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, plans were underway in Washington to overthrow Castro. Three months after his inauguration, the Bay of Pigs debacle happened under his watch. Undeterred, Kennedy’s military advisers and the CIA hoped the botched invasion would force him to start a war. But the young president did not budge…and that decision put him on a collision course with the same people who wanted to push him into conflict with Cuba.
The second excerpt of the documentary, which features WhoWhatWhy Editor-in-Chief Russ Baker, takes a close look at the Bay of Pigs and its aftermath — in particular the role of the CIA and the Pentagon in Cuba’s fate.
We learn to what lengths the military went to push the US into war with the island nation. While America was scheming, the Soviet Union provided help — but not just economic in nature. When it began shipping offensive weapons to Cuba, it pushed the world to the brink of war between the two superpowers.
One of the reasons the situation did not escalate was the private correspondence between Kennedy and Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev at a time when hardliners in both countries wanted them to turn the Cold War hot. Two years after the two men averted the crisis, Khrushchev had been pushed out of power and Kennedy was assassinated.
Watch the truly fascinating second part of this documentary on the Cuban embargo.
This is Excerpt 2 of 4
(9/25/2017 UPDATE): Due to the filmmaker’s request, the original video WhoWhatWhy posted has now been replaced with a trailer and promo clip below.