Playa Girón, First Great Defeat of Imperialism in America

The mercenary invasion that the CIA and the United States government prepared to overthrow the Cuban Revolution lasted less than 72 hours, the incipient Revolutionary Armed Forces along with Police forces, with the Commander-in-Chief, Fidel Castro, in front, inflicted on the Yankee imperialism its first great defeat in America.

The cost was high, 157 deaths of our fighters and the population of the Cienaga de Zapata, and more than 300 wounded. The mercenaries had about 89 dead and 1,197 prisoners, finally exchanged for children's compotes in the following months. The mercenary headquarters fled without fighting.

Throughout the country from the 17th, the main followers of the counter-revolution were held as a precaution to prevent the creation of a fifth column in other parts of the country, and the newly arrived "four mouths" had their baptism of fire in the face of the bombing of the enemy planes.

With these young gunners and our pilots who, together, shot down the enemy aviation, the FAR Anti-Air Defense Day arose on that date, and on the 18th with the withdrawal that the mechanized forces forced the invading troops towards the beach, the Day emerged of the Tanker. Both bodies of our FAR also celebrate their 59th anniversary today.

The National Literacy Campaign did not stop, on the contrary, it increased the preparation of the army of more than 100,000 Brigadistas Conrado Benítez who would occupy plains and mountains, and would also contribute their martyrs to the increasing banditism in various regions of the country, before to declare Cuba in December 1961 its own Territory Free of Illiteracy

Much has been written of what this demonstration of how difficult it is to defeat a united people in defense of revolutionary ideals meant for Cuba and Latin America, and much more will have to be written as imperialism engages in new attempts to delay the victory of popular struggles.

Playa Girón, or the Bay of Pigs as the invaders called it, changed the rhythm of the Cuban Revolution, as the true enemy we were facing became clear, which forced the country's leadership to radicalize the process, prepare internally and strengthen their international alliances for the upcoming battles.

It was not long, just a year later, in October 1962, the well-known October Crisis would once again test the firmness, strength and courage of the Cuban Revolution.

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