December 29, 2012
JFK WELCOMED CUBAN INVASION BRIGADE IN MIAMI 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
Miami, Florida (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, December 29, 1962, President John F. Kennedy, accompanied by 1st Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, welcomed the released prisoners of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs Cuban invasion brigade to Miami.
The brigade of anti-Castro Cuban exiles hit the beach at Cuba's Bahia de Cochinos on April 17, 1961. They had been secretly trained & supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
JFK was presented the flag of the Cuban Invasion Brigade 2506 by Erneido Oliva.
The President accepted the flag & said:
"I can assure you that this flag will be returned to this brigade in a free Havana."
You Tube Video on Miami Event
December 29, 1962
In his speech given at the Orange Bowl, JFK said:
"You are here following an historic road. Seventy years ago, Jose Marti*, the guiding spirit of the 1st Cuban struggle for independence, lived in exile on these shores.
You come to us from behind prison walls. But you leave behind more than 6 million countrymen who are also, in a very real sense, in a prison.
On behalf of my government & my country, I welcome you to the United States.
I bring you my nation's respect for your courage & belief in your cause.
Your small brigade is a tangible reaffirmation that the human desire for freedom...is essentially conquerable.
I am confident that in your stay here you will sow the seeds of that constructive American which, God willing, in the not too distant future we will see transported to the shores of your beloved island."
JFK & Mrs. Kennedy in Miami
December 29, 1962
Photo by Cecil Stoughton
JFK Library Image
*Jose Marti (1853-1895), born in Havana, traveled through Latin America, Spain & the United States raising support for the cause of Cuban independence.
Marti was a key figure in Cuba's war for independence from Spain & gave his life for the cause on the field of battle.
Jose Marti was also a poet & essayist whose works include themes of freedom, liberty & democracy.
Statue of Jose Marti
New York City