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On this date in history

April 17th, 1961: On this date in history, over 1,400 Cubans, members of La Brigada 2506, stormed the beach at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba to rid their country of a vile and bloodthirsty dictator and restore freedom on the island. Unbeknownst to them, President John F. Kennedy had already made a last minute decision to pull back the military support they were depending on and was an integral part of their invasion plan. Outnumbered by more than 10-to-1, these brave men continued to fight valiantly against the dictatorship's forces even after they realized they had been betrayed and abandoned by the U.S. president and left there to either die or be captured. Retreat was not an option, either tactically or morally. They were determined to fight for their country until the very last bullet, and that is exactly what the brave members of La Brigada 2506 did.

Fifty-one years later, the men of La Brigada 2506 have become legends not only for the Cuban community, but for the U.S. as well. Their courage and their honor has been evident for more than five decades and has served as an inspiration for several generations. In spite of being shamelessly betrayed, the survivors have never spoken ill of the U.S., and many of them went on to serve loyally in the American military. This stands in stark contrast to others who have done everything they can to place the blame for this travesty on these brave men who were viciously deceived and portray their betrayer as the victim. However, no amount of revisionist history will change the facts. Today and always, the honorable men of La Brigada 2506 will be known for their legendary courage and fierce fighting in the face of unbeatable odds.

On this day, the 51st anniversary of their attack, I bow my head in prayer and honor for these men. I thank them for their courage, and I thank them for making me proud to be a Cuban.

3 comments to On this date in history

  • asombra

    Since he obviously wasn't up to the job, JFK should have just called the whole thing off. It would have been better for everybody, including him and the US. He wasn't just a dithering dilettante, he was stupid. "Best and brightest" my ass.

  • La Conchita

    These are the true heroes in the fight for freedom and liberty in Cuba. They chose to take up arms and take the fight directly to the fascist Castro dictatorship while there still remained an inner flame for freedom within the Cuban people.

  • All those years ago, when I first found my way to Babalú, I never could have imagined what a life changing event the encounter would become. I've met movie stars, famous authors, and so many, so very many everyday Cuban Americans whose stories of exile inspire and humble. Thanks to Val and Babalú, I had the very great privilege of visiting the White House--if only my parents had lived to witness that.

    All of those encounters have been wonderful, but none come close to the profound reverence, respect, and love I hold for the political prisoners, and the members of Brigada 2506. I am privileged to call a few of them friends; they are heroes, all of them. In my opinion, the day that Kennedy betrayed these heroes was the day America lost her soul. When those brave heroes were left stranded on Playa Giron, the American Covenant was broken, and only God knows if it will ever be repaired. We owe all our thanks and gratitude to the heroic defenders of freedom, the Brigada 2506, may God bless them always.