MIAMI – At the height of the Cold War, about 1,500 fighters launched the Bay of Pigs or Bahía de Cochinos invasion of Cuba in an effort to topple Fidel Castro three months into President John F. Kennedy's administration.
Kennedy's predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, had envisioned a covert effort. The fighters expected the U.S. Airforce to cover them, but that never happened and the operation's failure prompted the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In Miami's Little Havana, members of an organization that honors the members of the Brigade 2506 remembered their sacrifice Wednesday at the Bay of Pigs Museum & Library at 1821 SW 9th St. And at the Biltmore in Coral Gables, during a Bay of Pigs Veterans Association luncheon, President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton was set to deliver a statement.
Meanwhile, in Cuba the government set up events to commemorate the socialist revolution and the victorious battle at Playa Girón in the Cuban province of Matanzas. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted he was also honoring Fidel Castro's proclamation of socialism.
In Miami's Little Havana, the Cuban exiles who remembered Playa Girón viewed it as an ongoing motivation to continue efforts to end socialism in Cuba.
At a memorial on Eighth Street and 13th Avenue, a fire burns daily at the top of a hectagon-shaped monument to remember "the martyrs of the assault brigade." This is the same area where thousands of Cuban exiles and their descendents and supporters celebrated when Fidel Castro died in 2016.