Here’s another little snippet the CIA would rather we all forgot, courtesy of Prensa Latina:
The smoke of the battle of Playa Giron dissipated 45 years ago when the Cuban people defeated the mercenary attack concocted by the US to destroy the then-emerging Cuban revolution.
The goal of the mercenary brigade, trained and armed by the White House to invade Cuba, was to make a beachhead and install a counterrevolutionary government in three days, composed of people from the US military base of Oppalocka, FL.
That puppet government, following its recognition by Washington and the Organization of American States, would request direct US military intervention in Cuba, disregarding the number of people probably killed or the international laws violated.
The General Staff and then President John F Kennedy approved the invasion and planes camouflaged with Cuban flags took off from Central American nations on April 15, as Operation Puma to destroy Cuba´s air defense, bombing the airports in Havana and Santiago de Cuba.
The CIA called that plan “Operation Pluto” and the 1,400 mercenaries who invaded the Island were backed by 30 planes, a tank company, ten trucks with machine guns, 19 mortars, 18 cannons, rifles, bazookas and ammunition.
The fleet included five gunboats, two war units, three landing craft, tanks and trucks with artillery emplacements and four vessels to transport troops. Marine units made up of at least two destroyers and an aircraft carrier also backed a battalion of parachutists dropped at three points to consolidate control of the beachhead.
At the UN, the US claimed the invasion, of US-armed, trained and transported mercenary brigade 2506 that landed in the Zapata Swamp on April 17, was a local uprising against the revolution.
The invaders were made to believe they would be warmly welcomed in Cuba, although the leaders knew most Cubans supported the Revolution, and the bravery of Cuban militiamen gave a quick revolutionary victory and shattered the plans.
In only 66 hours the Cubans, led by President Fidel Castro, defeated the invaders who surrendered at Giron Beach on April 19, 1961.
The first program of State terrorism the US elaborated against Cuba was thus destroyed.
What’s really comical about the Bay of Pigs invasion (and everything since) is how it has only served to further entrench the rule of Fidel Castro, rather than unseat him. To this day, the wily old cat is still flipping the bird at Miami and Washington, with no signs of let-up.
While I’m not sure what to make of his policies (real, unbiased news from or about Cuba is damn hard to come by), I can only admire his tenacity, his resourcefulness and of course, his humor. Can anyone deny the hilarity of an overweening government (which styles itself as the world’s policeman), its supposedly top-notch spies, and its expensive, high-tech military machine–all arraying themselves futilely against one elderly, stubborn guerrilla leader thumbing his nose at them from an impoverished little island ninety miles offshore? If this were a movie, it would be a screwball comedy, along the lines of The Gods Must Be Crazy or It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. (Or, if it were on TV, it’d be a cross between Soap and I Love Lucy.)
Now, if only certain people would get a sense of humor…and lay off Cuba at last. But since they’re bound and determined not to, I rather hope Fidel outlives every last one of them, and dies with his thumb firmly pressed to his nose.
He probably will, too.