Friday, June 10, 2011

Odds and ends

  • Reuters: A U.S. delegation sponsored by the Center for Democracy in the Americas visits Alan Gross, finds him “in good spirits” and eager to go home.

  • Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control releases a new list (pdf) of companies licensed to provide air, travel, and remittance forwarding services to Cuba.

  • Global Post: The Venezuela-Cuba fiber optic cable is due to go into service this summer, and will multiply Cuba’s bandwidth by a factor of 3,000.

  • A reader recommends A Brilliant Disaster by Jim Rasenberger, a book about President Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs fiasco. In the comments section, his notes on surprising findings in the book.

1 comment:

Phil Peters said...

From a reader, notes on the Rasenberger book on the Bay of Pigs:

- The possibility that CIA director Allen Dulles violated the law by feeding classified information to presidential candidate JFK, which he then used to attack Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign. Nixon remained bitter and suspicious over this issue for the rest of his life. The 5 minute section of the 1960 presidential campaign debate that centered on Cuba is on youtube, I have attached it here.
- Nicaraguan dictator Somoza asked the invading force for a present from Cuba. Not cigars, but Castro’s beard.
- There was time zone confusion over possible US support of air strikes by the invading force over the issue of time zones. The exile air force took off from Nicaragua an hour early and were promptly shot down by Castro’s air force. US air support was an hour late and actually never even took off once they realized they were late and the exile air force had already been shot down.
- CIA propaganda radio broadcasts over Cuba claimed that the invading force was over 5,000, and that had fought their way into the Sierra Escambray mountains even as they were surrendering and the scale of the failure was emerging.
- Fidel Castro travelled to the Playa Giron area early during the invasion, then travelled back to the Havana area before returning as the fighting ended.
- Cuba was duped somewhat during the negotiations over the ransom for the return of brigade 2506. Cuba initially demanded about US $60 million in tractors and agricultural equipment. In the end, it was about US $53 million in cash, food and medicines that was delivered. This included $500,000 worth of Listerine, $75,000 in laxatives, as well as baking starch, aspirin and alka seltzer. Listerine!!! very funny