321. Editorial Note

On April 8, 1962, a Cuban Military Tribunal announced a verdict in the trial of the 1,179 prisoners captured following the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion. Ignoring pleas for clemency from the Organization of American States and a number of Latin American governments, the Tribunal sentenced the prisoners to 30 years hard labor for treason, and set ransom at $62 million. At a press conference on April 11, President Kennedy responded to a question concerning the ransom demand by observing: “I think Mr. Castro knows that the United States Government cannot engage in a negotiation like that, and he knows very well that the families cannot raise these millions of dollars.” (American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, page 360)