Bay of Pigs Invasion
Brigade Veterans from the Bay of Pigs

50 years later, Cuban brigadiers talk about their firsthand experiences with the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961–from deporting to the camps for military training to the failed military invasion. The Bay of Pigs is considered a historically large failure for U.S. foreign policy, and entails the failed mission of a CIA-sponsored paramilitary group, Brigade 2506, in overthrowing Fidel Castro’s revolutionary leftist government. Before their invasion of Cuba, the Cuban brigade veterans such as Eduardo Zayas-Bazán share how American support helped boost morale and many felt a U.S. backing “guaranteed the triumph of that invasion.” Juan E. Pou says, “It never occurred to me that they would betray me…that they would abandon me.” Nevertheless, Santiago Jont Camejo proudly asserts, “The fact that I was defending my country indicates that I am not a mercenary. And if there was another opportunity, I’d do it again.” Brigade 2506, within three days, were defeated by Cuban armed forces under Prime Minister Fidel Castro, which helped to legitimize Castro’s administration.

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Submitted by: Virginia Choi
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