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Facts Emerge on Bay of Pigs Mystery

June 1, 1964 - Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon (pictured with then Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960) wanted the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba to take place before the national election Nov. 8, 1960, two Washington newspapermen have reported in the issue of Look magazine out today.

According to the authors, David Wise and Thomas Ross, “one of Nixon’s top campaign aides later privately confirmed this.”

“He explained,” the authors continue, “that Nixon was hoping for the invasion before November 8 because ‘it would have been a cinch to win’ the election if the Eisenhower Administration destroyed Fidel Castro in the closing days of the Presidential campaign.”

“That was exactly what the Kennedy strategists hoped would not happen,” the authors write.

Kennedy, however, the authors point out, did publicly propose U.S. support of a rebellion in Cuba, while Nixon pretended to oppose it.

In his debate with Kennedy on Oct. 22, the Vice President charged that Kennedy’s call for U.S. support of an anti-Castro revolution was “the most shockingly reckless proposal ever made in our history by a Presidential candidate during a campaign.”

Nixon subsequently explained in his book “Six Crises” that he believed Kennedy had been endangering the security of the invasion plan after learning of it in an intelligence briefing arranged by President Eisenhower, and therefore felt obliged to attack a plan he privately supported.

Kennedy had been briefed on July 23 and Sept. 19 by Allen Dulles, then director of the CIA. Dulles later denied having made the invasion scheme known to Kennedy.

While the Nixon forces did not know exactly how much Kennedy knew of the invasion plan, “they certainly did not want the Democratic candidate to benefit from an invasion that might be launched by a Republican President,” the authors say.

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