From 1956 to 1959, the Cuban Government under Fulgencio Batista fought an ultimately unsuccessful campaign against rebels led by Fidel Castro. President Dwight Eisenhower directed CIA to topple Castro’s regime. The plan ultimately agreed upon–training and arming Cuban exiles to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs–reached the combat phase in April 1961 under the administration of John F. Kennedy. The invasion was an unqualified disaster; Castro’s military forces captured or killed the vast majority of the invasion force within three days. The Soviet Union, having found an ally in Castro, feared for his government’s survival. Tensions rose between the US and Soviets, paving the way the following year for the Cuban Missile Crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
This silver coin commemorating an anticipated (but never realized) Bay of Pigs victory features an outline of Cuba with a rebel invader advancing past a fallen member of Castro’s military in the foreground. The reverse side prominently displays a cross, shield, and the flag of Cuba with the phrases “Crusade to Free Cuba” and “There will be no end but victory.”
3.7 cm x 0.2 cm
(D x H)