On January 1st, 1959, Fidel Castro successfully overthrew the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The United States initially recognized the new government, but quickly became concerned that it was becoming a Soviet satellite. In March 1960, President Eisenhower ordered the C.I.A. to begin to equip Cuban exiles to return and overthrow Castro. Upon assuming office, Kennedy continued to support the plan for overthrowing Castro. He limited its scope, however, severely minimizing the amount of air-support that the rebels were to receive.
On April 17th, 1961, 1400 anti-Castro Cubans landed at the Bay of Pigs. Contrary to their expectations, no uprising against Castro developed and, within 72 hours the invading force was wiped out. President Kennedy took responsibility for the failed attempt.