“U.S. interests and prestige were dealt another devastating blow when revolutionaries, led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, toppled Cuba's U.S. friendly dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Years Day, 1959. American corporations had dominated the island since 1898. In 1959 they controlled more than 80 percent of Cuba's mines, cattle ranches, utilities and oil refineries, 50 percent of the railroads, and 40 percent of the sugar industry. The United States still retained its naval base at Guantánamo Bay. Castro quickly set about reforming the education system and redistributing land. The government seized more than a million acres from the United Fruit Company and two other American companies. When the United States tried to strangle the new regime economically, Castro turned to the Soviet Union for aid. On March 17, 1960, Eisenhower instructed the CIA to organize a “paramilitary force” of Cuban exiles [mercenaries] to overthrow Castro.”
JG: It would be the first military defeat of Yankee imperialism in Latin America.
The Untold History of the United States
Oliver Stone & Peter Kuznic
Gallery Books, New York, 2012