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Thread: Operation Pico 1977: An almost attack on Dominican Republic by Cuba

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    Contributor Crocodylus's Avatar
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    Operation Pico 1977: An almost attack on Dominican Republic by Cuba

    Operation Pico might be called a success for the Castro government in Cuba, since it persuaded the government of then President of the Dominican Republic, Joaquín Balaguer, after some negotiation, to release a group of Cuban fishermen suspected of violating Dominican territorial waters and transporting arms. Some believe this was an act of bullying on part of the Cubans, whereas others believe it to be just another action to protect their citizens.

    An article in Spanish: Aviacion Cubana - Operacion Pico

    An article in English. It appears to be a translation of the above Spanish one. Cuba vs. Republica Dominicana (1977) “Operation Pico” | The History, Culture and Legacy of the People of Cuba

    Now, suppose that, instead of the actual result, the Dominicans hold on to the fishing crew and the Cubans actually go ahead with Operation Pico and bomb Santo Domingo and then Santiago de Los Caballeros. Would it mean immediate release of the fishing crew after initial hostilities? Or would the Cubans, even after the Dominicans immediately return the fishing crew to Cuban soil, actually invade DR? My initial guess is that the US would want to get involved since containing the spread of communism was top priority at the time. In turn the USSR would step up support to Castro, albeit discreetly.

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    Even a weak President Carter would have been compelled to act to protect the DR from Cuban aggression.

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    Contributor Crocodylus's Avatar
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    So it was mere bluffing...and he went ahead with the operation anyway!

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Even a weak President Carter would have been compelled to act to protect the DR from Cuban aggression.
    So Castro was just bluffing the Dominicans into releasing those fishermen? This might be so, since an escalation would've led to the US and USSR getting involved. In fact, Cuban military officers told their air force crews to remove any and all Russian lettering from their aircraft and munitions to avoid implicating the Soviets.

    If the Cubans actually bombed Santo Domingo and Santiago de Los Caballeros, and invaded the DR and the US got involved, how would it have played out? Would it have been sending in reinforcements from Puerto Rico plus a USN strike force and sweeping up any and all Cuban forces in DR? Or would it have had to end with an actual US invasion of Cuba and remove Fidel from power, followed by a, say, 10-year US occupation of the island? I'm sure the latter option would've been good consolation after the loss of the Vietnam War.

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