Cienfuegos and the Bay of Pigs


On the way from Vinales to Ciefuegos we stopped off at the Bay of Pigs for a swim. Here is the bay itself (all the marks on the road are about a thousand poor crushed crabs that obviously tried to cross the road – it’s crab roadkill…)

That’s me, having a swim in the Bay of Pigs!

Across the road there was a natural swimming pool/rock pool which was also lovely.

At the Bay of Pigs musem. Here’s what I learned about that: Eisenhower devised a plan to overthrow Fidel, and JFK inherited the plan. JFK wasn’t willing to commit us troops to the planned invasion at the Bay of Pigs, so he agreed to it using Cuban-American spies. They painted planes to look like Cuban planes, and used Cuban-American pilots, and invaded in 1962. While the planes were distracting the Cubans with bombs, 2 ships snuck into the Bay of Pigs and around 1400 soldiers landed ready to invade.

Sadly, they massively underestimated Fidel’s infiltration of the US intelligence, and the Cubans were ready for the attack. The plane targets were all mostly empty and evacuated, and after all the men landed on the beach, the Cubans sank the 2 ships in the bay and left the 1400 soldiers stranded. After losing around 112 men, the remainder of the soldiers were captured/surrendered (not sure which version of events we’re going with). The remaining 1200-odd soldiers were held captive and eventually returned a year later in exchange for around $53 million dollars worth of baby food and other in-kind goods.

In other words, I think Fidel won that round. Also his epic defeat of the US cemented his position in the minds of the Cuban people, and he went from basic “overthrower of the Batista oppressors” to “god among men”.

After that we headed to Cienfuegos for the night.

This is a statue of Benny Moré, famous 1940’s singer from Cienfuegos.

Cuba has some seriously weird art, but these were my favourites.

Yes, that is the squirrel from Ice Age…

Pikachu! No, wait, it’s Pikaché!

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