Meet Mr and Mrs. Eduardo Zayas-Bazan. A couple I had the pleasure and honor of meeting last week at the Bay of Pigs pilots ceremony in Birmingham, Alabama. Eduardo was a frogman in one of the underwater demolitions team. He was, I believe, part of the group that were the first to go ashore before the invasion. He was wounded and captured and subsequently spent a year in castro’s gulag.
He’s a soft-spoken, erudite man and Professor Emeritus at East Tennessee University where he was Dean of the Department of Languages from 1973-1993. He was the first veteran we video interviewed last week and it was an honor and a privilege for me, personally, to hear his story first hand.
Eduardo, along with fellow East Tennessee professor Robert J. Higgs, have written a historical novel based on Eduardo’s experiences during the Bay of Pigs Invasion titled “El Pez Volador” (“The Flying Fish”. Scroll down the linked page for info and purchase info.):
El Pez Volador tells the story of Luis Recio, a young Cuban man of ideals and comfortable economic standing that rejects the Batista dictatorship, joins Fidel Castro’s guerrilla movement, forms part of the first revolutionary government and, when he becomes aware of all the deceptions, becomes part of the clandestine movement and takes part in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Through the eyes of this character, the reader becomes witness to the chain of events that led Cuba to Communism.
If you’re in Miami next week, he will be talking about the book on Tuesday, October 30th at the Casa Bacardi Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies of the University of Miami at 6:30 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet a distinguished Bay of Pigs veteran in person and have him share his story with you. He will also be at this year’s Book Fair in November in Downtown Miami.