Opinion

The Untold Story of the Bay of Pigs Freedom Fight—59 Years Ago This Week

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Posted: Apr 25, 2020 12:01 AM
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The Untold Story of the Bay of Pigs Freedom Fight—59 Years Ago This Week

Source: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

“It’s a great honor and I’m humbled for this endorsement from these freedom fighters (Bay of Pigs Veterans Association)…You were fighting for the values of freedom and liberty that unite us all. (Candidate Donald Trump, receiving endorsement of Bay of Pigs veterans at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami, Florida, Oct. 25, 2016.)

'Shameless ELECTION YEAR PANDERING!' snort liberals. Well: 

“I really admire toughness and courage, and I will tell you that the people of this brigade [Brigada 2506] really have that…you were let down by our country.” (Donald Trump, addressing Bay of Pigs Veterans at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami, Florida, November 1999.

Since liberals (and their libertarian kissing-cousins) mostly parrot versions of the Castro/KGB-concocted script on the Bay of Pigs, let’s clarify a few items:

First off—No, it wasn’t a matter of “Big Bad Bully” Uncle Sam waking up on the wrong side of the bed and deciding to punish an innocuous free-healthcare provider and “nationalist” who booted “The Mob” from Cuba. 

In fact: The U.S. gave Castro’s regime its official benediction (diplomatic recognition) more rapidly than it had recognized Batista’s in 1952, and quickly lavished it with $200 million in subsidies.

In fact: In August 1959, the liberal U.S. ambassador to Cuba, Philip Bonsal, even alerted Castro to a conspiracy against his regime by anti-communist Cubans, who knowing how the U.S. State Department and CIA had helped Castro into power, excluded them from their plans. 

Thanks in part to liberal U.S. Ambassador Bonsal’s solicitude for a regime then insulting his nation as “a vulture preying on humanity!” and poised to steal $2 billion from U.S. stockholders, the native anti-Castro plot was foiled, hundreds of the plotters imprisoned or executed, and the regime that three years later came closest to vaporizing many of America’s biggest cities (including Bonsal’s home) with nuclear missiles, survived.

In 1958, at the very time the U.S. State Department and CIA were helping his movement, Castro had written in confidence to a colleague, “War with the U.S. is my true destiny.” Castro had sent armed guerrillas to attempt the violent overthrow of five sovereign Latin American countries, (Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Haiti) stole $2 billion from American businessmen at Soviet gun point after torturing and murdering several U.S. citizens who resisted, invited in thousands of Soviet military and police agents, kidnapped 50 U.S. citizens from Guantanamo Bay, and jailed and executed several Americans before we lifted a finger against him. In fact during this period, the State Dept. made over 10 back channel diplomatic attempts to ascertain the cause of Castro’s tantrums. Argentine President Arturo Frondizi (himself a leftist) was the conduit for many of these and recounts their utter futility in his memoirs. At long last the U.S. started contingency planning for what came to be known as the Bay of Pigs invasion.

No, the invasion was not “doomed” from the beginning because of Castro’s “popular support” in Cuba—as the Media/Democrat complex would have you believe.

No, the invasion was not “doomed” because the original CIA/Military plans were “faulty”—as the Media/Democrat complex would have you believe.

No, the “formerly rich, pampered and effete” Cuban invaders did not “quickly surrender,” as the Media/Democrat complex would have you believe.

In fact, it was the voluntary actions of President Kennedy that led to doom.

'WHAT?! Are they NUTS?!' bellowed Brigade Air Force chief Reid Doster form Guatemala when he learned that Kennedy had canceled most of the vital airstrikes to destroy Castro’s small air force before the invasion. “There goes the whole f***ing war!" 

Where are the planes?” kept crackling over U.S. Navy radios two days later. “Where is our ammo? Send planes or we can’t last!” Brigade Commander Jose San Roman kept pleading to the very U.S. fleet that escorted his men to the beachhead. Crazed by hunger and thirst, his men had been shooting and reloading without sleep for three days. Many were hallucinating. By then many suspected they’d been abandoned by the Knights of Camelot. 

That’s when Castro’s Soviet Howitzers opened up, huge 122 mm ones, four batteries’ worth. They pounded 2,000 rounds into the freedom-fighters over a four-hour period. “It sounded like the end of the world,” one said later. “Rommel’s crack Afrika Corps broke and ran under a similar bombardment,” wrote Haynes Johnson in his book, the Bay of Pigs. By that time the invaders were dazed, delirious with fatigue, thirst and hunger, too deafened by the bombardment to even hear orders. But these men (representing every race and social class in Cuba) were in no mood to emulate Rommel’s crack Afrika Corps by retreating. Instead they were fortified by a resolve no conquering troops could ever call upon–the burning duty to free their nation. 

"If things get rough," the heartsick CIA man Grayston Lynch radioed back, "we can come in and evacuate you." 

"We will NOT be evacuated!" San Roman roared back to his friend Lynch. "We came here to fight! We don't want evacuation! We want more ammo! We want PLANES! This ends here!"

Camelot’s criminal idiocy finally brought Adm. Arleigh Burke of the Joints Chief of Staff, who was receiving the battlefield pleas, to the brink of mutiny. Years before, Adm. Burke sailed thousands of miles to smash his nation's enemies at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Now he was Chief of Naval Operations and stood aghast as new enemies were being given a sanctuary 90 miles away! The fighting admiral was livid. They say his face was beet red and his facial veins popping as he faced down his commander-in-chief that fateful night of April 18, 1961. "Mr. President, TWO planes from the Essex! (the U.S. Carrier just offshore from the beachhead) "that's all those Cuban boys need, Mr. President. Let me order...!" 

JFK was in white tails and a bow tie that evening, having just emerged from an elegant social gathering. "Burke," he replied. "We can't get involved in this." 

"WE put those Cuban boys there, Mr. President!" The fighting admiral exploded. "By God, we ARE involved!" 

Admiral Burke’s pleas also proved futile. 

The freedom-fighters’ spent ammo inevitably forced a retreat. Castro's jets and Sea Furies were roaming overhead at will and tens of thousands of his Soviet-led and armed troops and armor were closing in. The Castro planes now concentrated on strafing the helpless, ammo-less freedom-fighters. 

"Can't continue,” Lynch's radio crackled - it was San Roman again. "Have nothing left to fight with ...out of ammo...Russian tanks in view....destroying my equipment.” 

"Tears flooded my eyes," wrote Grayston Lynch. "For the first time in my 37 years I was ashamed of my country." 

When the smoke cleared and their ammo had been expended to the very last bullet, when a hundred of them lay dead and hundreds more wounded, after three days of relentless battle, barely 1,400 of them -- without air support (from the U.S. Carriers just offshore) and without a single supporting shot by naval artillery (from U.S. cruisers and destroyers poised just offshore) -- had squared off against 21,000 Castro troops, his entire air force and squadrons of Soviet tanks. The Cuban freedom-fighters inflicted over 3,000 casualties on their Soviet-armed and led enemies. This feat of arms still amazes professional military men.

“They fought magnificently and were not defeated,” stressed Marine Col. Jack Hawkins a multi-decorated WWII and Korea vet who helped train them. “They were abandoned on the beach without the supplies and support promised by their sponsor, the Government of the United States.” 

"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty!" proclaimed Lynch and Hawkins’ Commander-in-Chief just three months earlier.