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Playa Giron, first major battle for socialism in Cuba

Havana, Apr 17 (Prensa Latina) Cubans commemorate on Wednesday the first major battle in defense of socialism in 1961 in response to the invasion of some 1,500 armed mercenaries trained and transferred to Cuba by the United States.

Playa Girón and Playa Larga, in the southwestern Zapata Peninsula in Matanzas province, were the sites chosen for landing the Amphibious Attack Brigade 2506, trained by the Central Intelligence Agency in Guatemala, which sailed from Somoza’s Nicaragua.

On April 16, 1961, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, proclaimed the socialist character of the Revolution that started in Cuba on January 1, 1959, after the victory of the rebel army against the Fulgencio Batista tyranny (1952-1959).

During the burial of the victims of the US bombing of different points of the national territory as a prelude to the mercenary invasion, Fidel Castro expressed: “This is the socialist and democratic Revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble.”

“And for this Revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble, we are willing to give our lives, he assured.

A crowd of militiamen, gathered near the Cristobal Colon cemetery in Havana, raised their weapons to express their determination to defend the homeland against the aggressions of its northern neighbor. At the orders of Fidel Castro, forces of the Rebel Army, the National Revolutionary Police, and popular militias defeated, after fierce fighting, the invaders in less than 72 hours, inflicting, in Fidel Castro’s words, “the first major defeat of imperialism in Latin America.”

Five days later, then-US President John F. Kennedy was forced to acknowledge publicly his government’s involvement in the invasion of Cuba.

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