by Roberto Jesus Hernandez Hernandez
It is said that walking through the Zapata Swamp is like doing so in several countries at the time due to the variety of its nature and scene of the Bay of Pigs invasion still in the memory of the heroic Cuban forces and the mercenaries that were defeated 54 years ago.
A traveler that visits today the largest wetland in the Caribbean, full of roads, modern tourism centers and private installations cannot imagine the drama of the combats that led to the first great defeat of imperialism in Latin America.
Julio A. Amorin Ponce, historian of the municipality of Matanzas province and located over 180 kilometers southeast of Havana said that not even books can collect all that happened during the invasion.
The researcher added that today people remember the Young militia that defeated the enemy in less than 72 hours, civilians destroyed by bullets and the joy of those that defended the island’s sovereignty on April 19th, 1961.
Five decades after the invasion a large part of the official archives on the event is still kept secret whose prelude was Operation Pluto, organized, financed and executed by the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA.
Barely four months after the US broke off diplomatic ties with Cuba, a paramilitary force landed on the island with over 1500 well equipped mercenaries. This is documented and explained in a local museum dedicated to the invasion for all visitors.
Mercenaries paid by the US government did not hesitate in violating international conventions when they used the Cuban air force symbols on their aircrafts and used Napalm against local combatants despite the prohibition of its use, recalls Amorin.
Photographs of the time immortalize the courage of the Cuban people guided by its historical leader Fidel Castro and whose invaders planned on creating a provisional government to subvert the internal order.
The truth is that the forgotten corner on the island, where people lived in inhuman conditions working producing and selling coal for a miserable salary saw their children die due to hunger and diseases is currently more prosperous than ever before in history.
The Revolution that triumphed in 1959 preserved the exuberant beauty of the land and changed forever the destiny of the locals with a dignified life that knows how to defend the country in times like those in the history of the Bay of Pigs.
Abel González Alayón
Chief-Editor Language Department
Cuban News Agency
Copyright Roberto Jesus Hernandez Hernandez, AIN Special Service April 17, 2015