For God and the CIA
Cuban Exile Forces in the Congo and Beyond c.1961-1967
Series : Africa@War #52
Author : Stephen Rookes
Not yet published - in Autumn 2020 list
General - Pages : 88 | Images : 88 b/w & 6 colour photos, 2 b/w & 1 colour maps, 12 colour profiles, 7 colour figures, 5 tables
Paperback - Size : 297mm x 210mm | ISBN : 9781913336240 | Helion Book Code : HEL1250
As the United Nations armed forces found themselves struggling to quell a series of armed rebellions, towards the end of 1962 the United States increased its military role in the Congo Crisis by providing the Congolese government with a small air force recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. Initially unarmed, and used as a show of strength, this air force grew rapidly in size and power and provided air cover to government forces in operations against anti-government forces up until 1967.
Recognising that a threat existed in the east of the Congo, with weapons and supplies being transported across Lake Tanganyika, the CIA next put in place a naval force to patrol Congolese waters and to prepare areas for attacks made by mercenaries. The presence of this navy proved to be crucial in limiting supplies and persuaded Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara that his attempt to provoke widespread communist revolution in Central Africa was forlorn.
The mission in the Congo was not the first operation against Communist forces for those who made up the air and naval forces. Some had taken part in operations in Guatemala, many had participated at the Bay of Pigs, and many had continued their fight against Fidel Castro’s Cuba in operations launched from Nicaragua.
Should it not be understood who these men were, they were not US citizens and neither was their battle with the Congolese: these men were Cuban exiles fighting for an ideology and for the CIA.
The story which unfolds in this volume is of the men whose hatred of Communism and Fidel Castro inspired them to volunteer for covert missions in Cuba and in the Congo. It relies on their personal testimonies, on government archives, on declassified documents, and on piecing together a series of events to form them into a well-documented whole. Detailing how over 150 Cuban exiles known as the Makasi were recruited for missions in the Congo this volume will shed light on CIA covert operations which are largely unknown to the general public and to military historians alike. Starting with an examination of the CIA’s covert warfare apparatus and its early operations, this volume takes us on a journey across two continents. All the while, it demonstrates how important Cuban exiles were in the CIA’s fight to uphold the tenets of the Domino Theory. For God and the CIA continues the story begun with Ripe for Rebellion, though each volume stands alone.