The Bay of Pigs, Cuba, in 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone with basic US history will remember vaguely an event that was formative in the complicated relationship between the United States and Cuba.Not to overly simplify a complicated multi-decade relationship, but it’s appropriate to start with a US invasion that led to the US controling Cuba at the turn of the century, starting in 1900, putting in place a regime headed by strongman “Batista”, of whom Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously boasted “Batista is a son of a bitch, but he is OUR son of a bitch!”.

 

When you start to look at the world form the perspective of the invaded, rather than the invader, the patterns become quite consistent — Batista in Cuba, Somoza in Nicaragua, Reza Pahlavi as Shah in Iran, the house of Saud in Saudi Arabia and the list goes on. These are basically single families put in place and maintained in place, by economic and/or military means, to serve U.S. interest. Back to Cuba: when the US left Cuba in the 1920s, it secured eternal control of a small piece of Cuba now made famous by Bush’s War on Terror – Guantanamo Prison. The next important milestone in US/Cuban history were the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, when President Johnson ordered the invasion of Cuba by CIA trained Cuban exiles. This was a total military fiasco. Just to complete the story, the next milestone in US Cuban history came when President Kennedy had to face the prospect of medium range missiles placed on Cuban territory by the Soviet Union. The show down that ensued, referred to as the Cuban missile crisis brought the US and Soviet Union closest to the point of a nuclear war than any other conflict of the Cold War.

Today, the area is a laid back where a few tourists from Europe and Canada bathe in the warm waters of Playa Giron, aka the Bay of Pigs, while sipping Cuba Libre.

 

 

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We have one last day to spend on our way back to La Habana and we opt, on a whim, to stop on the side of the road and enjoy a last stretch of white sand and turquoise waters. As we emerge from the water, a young man plays his guitar to romantic Cuban ballads. Our favorite: “Chan Chan”.

 

Take a minute and click on this link about the Buena Vista Club – Cuban master musicians, playing the omnipresent Chan Chan…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXwLBS3yUkA

AND SPECIAL TREAT! If you clicked this link and listened to the Buena Vista Club’s rendition, here is a beautiful video with Buena Vista Club – New Generation, doing Chan Chan over gorgeous pictures of Havana…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiLkcHUuo2U&feature=related