Bay of Pigs
THE CUBAN PRIME MINISTER had bearded the Yankee lion in its den and emerged unscathed. Pleased with his triumphs, he was eager to share them with the people. At twelve minutes past ten on the evening of September 28, 1960, he began speaking from the balcony of the presidential palace to the crowd in the plaza and to the nation by means of radio and television. It proved to be a crucial moment in the history of the revolution. Aware of the growing dissent across the island, and of the thousands who had sought exit visas or were leaving the country illegally, he wanted to warn of the dangers and disappointments that faced Cubans living abroad.
The United States was not a land of milk and honey, he said. Far from it. For outsiders it was cold and hostile. During the ten days he had spent in New York, he said, dozens of Cubans—men, women, and children—had been brutalized by "henchmen" in that "superfree, superdemocratic, superhumane, and supercivilized city." Blacks were persecuted in the United States and farmers defrauded by the great monopolies. One had only to live in that city, as he had, "in the bowels of the imperialist monster," to realize that the monopolies and the press were one and the same thing. Editors lied. They duped the people constantly. Independent newspapers, newspapers that told the truth, could not exist where everything, everyone, was motivated by material interests, and by money. How different in a fortunate country such as Cuba, where people were "well oriented." Where they recognized the truth. Where they had something to fight for.
The prime minister's ruminations were cut short by the sound of a small explosion, a firecracker perhaps, and the unexpected noise set off a new line of thought. "That little bomb!" he shouted. "Everybody knows