Cuba celebrates 50th anniversary of Bay of Pigs victory

12:17, April 17, 2011      

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Cuba's President Raul Castro waves during a military parade in Cuban capital Havana April 16, 2011. Cuba staged a massive military parade on Saturday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1961 defeat of CIA-backed exiles at the Bay of Pigs. (Xinhua)

Cuba staged a massive military parade on Saturday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1961 defeat of CIA-backed exiles at the Bay of Pigs.

President Raul Castro hosted the parade, which also marked 50 years since his brother Fidel proclaimed the socialist character of the Cuban revolution.

Raul Castro, the former head of Cuba's armed forces before taking over the presidency from his brother Fidel, donned military fatigues for the occasion. He looked on with other dignitaries from a dais, waving and saluting the troops. There was no sign of Fidel Castro.

The parade opened with a brief speech by Maydel Gomez, president of the Federation of University Students, who said "young people will not fail to continue to support the socialist revolution."

The first part of the parade was a "symbolic journey" throughout the Cuban military history, including a "Mambi" cavalry with 128 riders and a replica of the Granma yacht in which Fidel Castro and his followers arrived in Cuba in 1956.

That was followed by a review of 6,000 soldiers and a display of military vehicles, including armored vehicles, tanks, ground artillery, fighter jets, helicopters and air defense equipment.

``Long live Fidel! Long live Raul! Long live the Communist Party of Cuba!'' a female announcer shouted, and particpants responded with shouts of approval.

The parade concluded with tens of thousands of young people "representing the new generations of Cubans and their commitment to the revolution led by Fidel Castro."

The parade was held before the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba started Saturday afternoon. The congress was expected to set new political and economic goals for the island country.

In 1961 a CIA-backed force of Cuban exiles landed at the beaches bordering the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) in Las Villas Province, 150 km south-east of Havana, in an invasion to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro, but was defeated by the Cuban armed forces within three days.


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Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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