A LETTER TO NEWSPAPER EDITORS ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF
THE BAY OF PIGS INVITATION
by Jorge Maspons
Letters to the Editor
April 17th is the 39th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. It is
important that we remember this military operation and say
something about it because had this operation succeeded the first
communist dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere would have
been liquidatedand we would not have had so much trouble in
Central America and today Cuba would be a free, independent
pro-Western nation. And there would not have been the
October/62 MissileCrisis. Even today, we would no be
going through the Elian Gonzales story and those who
died crossing the Florida Straits would be alive today,
including Elian's mother.
The American Military had no peer in the techbiques of
amphibious landingson a hostile shore. Tens of thousands
of Americans in carefully planned and brilliantly executed
landings at Omaha and Utah beaches in Normandy, Anzio in
Italy, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Inchon and others secured victory
for our military forces. This expertise amounted to a
guarantee of swift success on the shores of Cuba.
The question Americans should ask themselves is, why
did the invasion fail?The struggle that led to the failure was
waged not in Playa Giron, as the Cubans call the Bay of Pigs,
but in Washington, D.C.
The military action on the Cuban coast was doomed by Washington
decision-making before the first assault troops had disembarked.
Although the fate of Cuba was at stake, no Cuban participated in
the critical decision-making. The tragic aspect of the operation,
as things turned out, was that the members of "La Brigada"
had a blind faith in the United States Government. They were
certain that their American friends would never let them down.
The American instructors were astonished at the fervor displayed
in thetraining program. The certainty that they were dealing with
representatives of the world's greatest and most powerfull nation
was always in the back of the volunteers's minds. Not one
conceived the possibility of defeat.
But then, disaster! Air strikes were cancelled and called back.
The brigade was abandoned at the beach, all requests for help
denied. Sailors on the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga were crying
because they were not permitted to help their Cuban friends.
For months before there had been no doubt about U.S. involvement,
but now it was an involvement in betreyal and failure.
The "world opinion" for which the Washington liberals had been
so willing to sacrifice national honor now turned sharply against
the United States. For those Americans who were aware of what had
taken place, and why, sorrow was compounded by humiliation and shame.
The heroism of Cuba Brigade 2506 had been rewarded with
betrayel, defeat, death for many, and a long and cruel
imprisoment for the rest.
I understand to some extend the frustations of those men from
Brigade 2506.Later, after coming to the United States, during
the Vietnam War I volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army
and I was assigned to a combat unit in Vietnam. Before my
tour of duty was over, I was offered American citizenship and
thus became an American citizen while on active duty.
We were sent to Vietnam just like Brigade 2506 was sent to
the shores of Cuba, to a loosing war. There were no intentions
of winning in Cuba and no intentions of winning in Vietnam.
And just like Vietnam, an opportunity to advance the cause of
freedom was lost.
Jorge A. Maspons
April 17, 2000