Perhaps because they are used to so very little in the way of praise or just common civility from the local media, the Babalunians, and especially Val, go into paroxysms of joy when even the smallest crumb of recognition is thrust at any Cuban(s). Today he recommended as "excellent" and "a must read" Janine Zeitlin's "Bay of Pigs Vets Fight for Home" in this week's Miami New Times. The article is far from excellent. The author has a misguided idea of the Brigade 2506's place in history. She knows that they were betrayed by the U.S. government but also believes they were betrayed by "their country," as if the hopes and prayers of their countrymen were not entirely with them from the moment of their landing. Kennedy betrayed the hopes of both the freedom fighters and the Cuban people. The traitors who benefitted by Kennedy's betrayal of the Brigade 2506 did not represent the "Cuban people" but the negation of cubanidad, national sovereignty and independence. Castro's cohorts were the "anti-freedom fighters" who prevailed because the freedom fighters were not allowed to succeed.
Zeitlan writes that the men of Brigade 2506 hope their efforts will "be known worldwide as more than a botched attempt by homesick immigrants and American mercenaries." Not "a botched attempt by homesick immigrants[?]" but "botched," certainly, by Kennedy and his "best and brightest" who regarded deniability as more important than victory, and halted the invasion, reneging on the promised aircover and cutting off resupply lines, not because the Brigade 2506 was losing [in fact, they dealt 30 times as many casualties as they sustained in 3 days of fighting] but because Kennedy feared that he would lose face and popularity if American involvement in this American-enterprise were discovered. Ironically, Kennedy's disastrous conduct earned him the highest approval rating of any U.S. president in history. The only Americans who didn't betray the freedom fighters were the handful who fought beside them for Cuba's freedom, the men whom Zeitlan calls "mercenaries."
This article does prove that a Bay of Pigs Museum, in Miami, is desperately needed to combat the disinformation which still lingers about the mission of the Brigade 2506. Kennedy himself fostered that disinformation and his acolytes perpetuated it. It is time that the truth was known and commemorated.
The "Fiasco" that Wasn't a Fiasco
The Bay of Pigs Museum on Biscayne Bay
Arthur M. Schlesinger: The Devil in Mr. Kennedy