The United States was initially opposed to Fidel Castro's takeover in Cuba since it had a strong, albeit corrupt, ally in Fulgencio Batista. When Castro sought to ally himself with the Soviet Union, the move was deeply troubling to the Eisenhower and then Kennedy administrations. In 1961, President Kennedy authorized an invasion of the island by Cuban exiles, with disastrous results. Afterward, U.S. policymakers abandoned direct intervention and adopted a trade embargo in an effort to discredit Castro by destabilizing the Cuban economy. In 1962, the placement of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba nearly resulted in a nuclear conflict between the United States and the USSR.