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Bay of Pigs: That Time Cuba Humiliated US Imperialism

IN PICTURES: For progressives and anti-imperialists all over the world, the mention of the Bay of Pigs evokes joy and celebration.

Between April 17 and 19, 1961, a force of Cuban mercenaries, led by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency tried to invade the just-declared socialist nation of Cuba. Within about 60 hours, the attempt failed miserably, with almost 100 invaders dead and over 1,000 captured after they surrendered on the evening of April 19. The Cuban people lost over 150 combatants and civilians during their defense of the country.

For progressives and anti-imperialists all over the world, the mention of the Bay of Pigs — known in Spanish as Playa Giron — evokes joy and celebration: the United States, an empire accustomed to imposing itself even in the farthest corners of the world, could not prevail and enforce its will on a small revolutionary country 90 miles away from its shores in the Caribbean. The empire could be defeated after all.

teleSUR takes a look at the epic victory of Cuban revolutionaries and patriots.

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Fidel with Captain Jose R. Fernandez (to his right) arrive at the Bay of Pigs.
Fidel with Captain Jose R. Fernandez (to his right) arrive at the Bay of Pigs. Photo:Granma
Capt. Jose R. Fernandez (left), coordinates the fight against the invasion.
Capt. Jose R. Fernandez (left), coordinates the fight against the invasion. Photo:Juventud Rebelde
Soviet anti-aircraft guns skillfully staffed by the Cubans destroyed incoming warplanes.
Soviet anti-aircraft guns skillfully staffed by the Cubans destroyed incoming warplanes. Photo:Juventud Rebelde
Cuban leader Fidel Castro sits inside a tank near the Bay of Pigs during the invasion, April 17, 1961.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro sits inside a tank near the Bay of Pigs during the invasion, April 17, 1961. Photo:Juventud Rebelde
Fidel Castro talks to Cuban soldiers after the CIA-backed troops came ashore at the Bay of Pigs.
Fidel Castro talks to Cuban soldiers after the CIA-backed troops came ashore at the Bay of Pigs. Photo:Reuters
The Cuban people and revolutionary armed forces managed to destroy several of the aggressors
The Cuban people and revolutionary armed forces managed to destroy several of the aggressors' warplanes. Photo:Juventud Rebelde
Cuban counter-revolutionaries in 1961, after their capture at the Bay of Pigs.
Cuban counter-revolutionaries in 1961, after their capture at the Bay of Pigs. Photo:AFP
Cuban President Fidel Castro enters a public trial for captured members (seated) of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Havana.
Cuban President Fidel Castro enters a public trial for captured members (seated) of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Havana. Photo:AFP
The militias and fighters of Bay of Pigs celebrate their hard-fought victory.
The militias and fighters of Bay of Pigs celebrate their hard-fought victory. Photo:Juventud Rebelde
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