Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined

Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined

Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined

Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined

Excerpt

This book, and the research process leading up to it, have been follow-ups to the Cuban missile crisis project, which was, like the Bay of Pigs project, a collaboration of Brown University's Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, the National Security Archive, and various institutes and agencies in Cuba. The decision to approach the Bay of Pigs invasion and related events was made in 1995 jointly by the Watson Institute and the archive.

For various reasons, some relating to a nosedive in U. S. –Cuban relations in early 1996, preparations for a Havana conference on the Bay of Pigs were postponed. At that point, several members of the U. S. organizing team met to decide whether it would be possible to, in effect, take two interim steps at once: (1) to gather the U. S. participants for a conference to discuss new U. S. documents including, for the first time, documents from the anti-Castro resistance; and (2) to raise the odds of a subsequent conference in Cuba, via the generation of new information from the U. S. side. Their conclusion was in the affirmative.

T-shirts were distributed to participants on the first evening of the subsequent U. S. conference, meant to symbolize the larger goals of the project. On the front was a CIA aerial photograph of the Bay of Pigs battle in progress. On the back was the last stanza of the song “Playa Girón, ” by Cuban songwriter Sylvio Rodríguez:

Que escriban la historia, su historia [todos] los hombres de playa Girón.

Well, let them write the history, their story, [all] the men of the Bay of Pigs.

“Todos/all” was added to embrace the ultimate goal of the project . . .

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