The 1959 takeover of Cuba by Fidel Castro (1926-) and his revolutionary followers prompted the exodus of many Cubans, especially to the United States. When Castro's communist-oriented regime confiscated private property and established close ties to the Soviet Union, the United States imposed an embargo on all exports to Cuba (except food and medicine) and broke diplomatic relations (1960-61). Anti-Castro Cuban exiles demanded that the United States back an invasion of their homeland to topple the government; as early as 1960, the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began to train an exile army in Guatemala. On April 17, 1961, about 1,400 exiles invaded southern Cuba at the Bahia de los Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), but were totally defeated by the Cuban army by April 20; most of the invaders were killed or taken prisoner. Critics of this failure blamed the last-minute withdrawal of naval air support by US president John F. Kennedy (1917-63), but closer investigation disclosed that the CIA scheme, meant to be secret but long a matter of public knowledge, had been based on faulty intelligence information, was poorly planned, and ultimately was poorly executed. The failed invasion aggravated already hostile US-Cuban relations and eventually required the expenditure of $53 million in food and medicine (raised by private donors to meet Casto's ransom) to secure the release of the 1,113 surviving captive invaders (1962-65).