Cuba Timeline

President Kennedy signing the declaration of quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 23 Oct 1962.
President Kennedy signing the declaration of quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 23 Oct 1962.

Pre-Kennedy Era

Jan 1959 – Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista overthrown by Castro and other revolutionaries.

Apr 1959 – Castro tours U.S. and meets Vice-President Nixon.

Mar 1960 - President Eisenhower authorizes the CIA to begin training Cuban exiles for an invasion of Cuba.

Sep 1960 - CIA recruits organized crime figures Johnny Roselli, and through him Sam Giancana and Santos Trafficante, in plots to assassinate Castro.

Jan 1961 - U.S. and Cuba sever diplomatic relations.

Kennedy Era

Apr 1961 – The Bay of Pigs operation, an invasion of Cuba by CIA-trained exiles, is launched. It quickly ends in disaster.

Nov 1961 - Operation Mongoose, a covert operation against Cuba managed by counterinsurgency expert Edwin Lansdale, is initiated.

Mar 1962 – Operation Northwoods presented to SecDef McNamara. Northwoods contemplated faked and actual terrorist incidents which could be blamed on Castro, and used as a pretext for an invasion of Cuba.

Oct 1962 – U.S. satellite photos and subsequent U-2 flyovers uncover proof of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. The ensuing Cuban Missile Crisis has the world at the brink of nuclear annihilation. Khrushchev backs down and removes missiles when confronted.

Dec 1962 – Bay of Pigs prisoners ransomed by U.S., and JFK meets with them at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Mar 1963 - Raids by Cuban exiles against Cuba from U.S. shores begin to be shut down, though the National Security Council continues to approve some raids throughout 1963.

May 1963 – Development of contingency plans for a coup in Cuba are undertaken, and revised over the summer and into fall.

Jul 1963 - A major arms cache is raided at Lake Ponchartrain near New Orleans, and other raids occur during the summer.

Sep 1963 - CIA reactivates contact with Rolando Cubela. Castro gives impromptu interview and warns that U.S. leaders aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders will themselves not be safe. White House authorizes William Atwood to explore talks with Castro representative.

Oct 1963 – Desmond Fitzgerald, head of the CIA's Special Affairs Staff, meets with Cubela, representing himself as Robert Kennedy's personal emissary. The assassination of Castro is discussed.

18 Nov 1963 - Kennedy gives speech in Miami, which continues to divide analysts as to whether it invited a coup or was a door-opener for accomodation with Castro.

22 Nov 1963 – Cubela meets again with a CIA officer on Nov 22, and is handed a poison pen. As the meeting is breaking up, the participants received the news of Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. The same day, Castro hears the news of Kennedy's murder while meeting with French journalist Jean Daniel, himself there as part of the secret "accomodation track."

Post-Kennedy Era

Mar 1964 - AMLASH supplied by CIA with rifles for use in assassinating Castro.

Jun 1965 - CIA contact with AMLASH terminated.

1967 - Inspector General's Report on plots to assassinate Fidel Castro is written.

1975 - Church Committee issues its Interim Report on Castro assassination plots, along with information on Operation Mongoose and other aspects of the "secret war" against Castro.


Other Links

US-CUBA RELATIONS, CASTRO ASSASSINATION PLOTS. Debra Conway has created this detailed timeline on the JFK Lancer website. The timeline includes a great deal of information on assassination plots against Castro, but is also a useful chronology on other US-Cuba matters between 1959 and 1963.

Timeline: Cuba. BBC News has a timeline which captures highlights in the history of Cuba, from Christopher Columbus' claiming of the island for Spain in 1492 to the present.


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