The Kennedy administration moved to gain control over CIA-funded Cuban exile commando groups in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union went to the brink of nuclear war in October 1962. The CIA cut off its generous subsidies to Cuban exile action groups that launched commando raids in Cuba from bases in Florida. (In 1963, the CIA would covertly arm and fund the “autonomous operations” of Manuel Artime and Manuel Ray.)

Cuban exile leaders had not expected the Cuban missile crisis to end peacefully. They believed the United States would intervene militarily to remove the Soviet missiles and overthrow the Cuban revolution. When U.S. law enforcement agencies cracked down on unauthorized Cuban exile paramilitary operations and terminated its supply of aid and arms for exile action groups, Cuban exile leaders went into a funk.

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