Segments in this Video

Bay of Pigs (02:49)


An American-backed group of Cuban exiles attacked the country to overthrow dictator Fidel Castro. The mission failed and thousands of Cubans fled to Florida. Two veterans of the attack returned to Cuba to establish peace.

Brigade 2506 (08:03)

Alfredo Duran and Mario Cabello were part of the brigade ordered to invade the Bay of Pigs. President John F. Kennedy denied that it was aided by the federal government. The 1,200 survivors were held prisoner for two years.

Anti-Communism in Miami (06:42)

Duran and Cabello, like many Cuban exiles in Miami, are anti-communists and anti-Castro. They and three other veterans accept an invitation to a conference in Havana commemorating the Bay of Pigs. Duran hopes it will heal some of the wounds between the two countries.

Reunited in Havana (03:21)

Cuban Vice President Jose Ramon Fernandez greets the veterans at the airport. Cabello visits his sisters who he has not seen in 40 years.

Bay of Pigs Conference (03:28)

The National Security Archive takes years preparing for the event. Organizers collect documentation and identify as many people involved in the invasion as possible. The goal is to remember the invasion and establish peace.

La Coubre Explosion (03:59)

The conference highlights how the French ship's explosion in 1960 was a turning point in the Cuban Revolution. Castro blamed the explosion on the United States and grew closer to the Soviet Union, stopping a possible reconciliation.

Mistakes of Bay of Pigs (08:17)

The conference highlights the haphazard landing of ships in Cuba. The CIA incorrectly thought it would trigger an uprising among the Cuban people. The surviving commanders from both sides peacefully detail how the battle occurred.

Operation Mongoose (03:31)

After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy began the covert operation to assassinate Castro. One plan involved an exploding shell on a beach Castro often visited. Former CIA members call it state sanctioned terrorism.

Bay of Pigs Visit (04:30)

Conference attendees visit the battle sites. They reflect on why the conflict happened and how it could have led to a much greater war.

Return to Miami (05:45)

Duran is proud of the veterans for attending the conference despite hostility from their community. Cabello respects the soldiers from both sides and attempts to share the message of peace with other veterans.

Credits: "Cuba: The 40 Years War" (01:03)

Credits: "Cuba: The 40 Years War"

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Cuba: The 40 Years War

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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In March of 2001, forty years after the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, five Cuban-American veterans traveled to Havana for an international conference devoted to the invasion. For some it was the first time they had stepped foot on Cuban soil since their release from Castro’s prisons in 1963; but all of them understood that their presence in Havana would put them on a collision course with the often violent Cuban-American political forces in south Florida. A list of notables traveled with them: including Richard Goodwin, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., JFK’s sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, and Sam Halpern, the ex-CIA operative who ran Kennedy's infamous Operation Mongoose, the goal of which had been the assassination of Fidel Castro. Appropriate counterparts on the Cuban side were expected to attend, including the Commandante himself.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL215658

ISBN: 978-1-63722-160-0

Copyright date: ©2002

Closed Captioned

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