Fighting for Florida

The 53rd Anniversary of The Bay of Pigs

Today, we mark the 53rd anniversary of the Brigade 2506’s efforts to liberate Cuba from the clutches of a communist dictatorship that had just taken hold at the time. The men that formed the Brigade represented a cross section of the Cuban population. They were rich and poor, of African and European descent and politically diverse, but all of them were united by their belief in democracy and freedom. Even after all these years, their proud legacy lives and stands as a symbol to all those who yearn and struggle to be free.

Sadly, Cuba continues to suffer at the hands of a dictatorship that has enslaved millions of innocent people and ravaged Cuba’s natural resources to help entrench them in power. There hasn’t been a free and fair election in Cuba in 54 years. The independent press there is non-existent. Cubans can’t freely access the Internet. And the systematic violation of human rights by the Castro regime has meant more political prisoners in their gulags. Furthermore, during that long stretch of time, the Cuban government has consistently stood against human rights, sponsored terrorism, actively undermined democratically elected governments and institutions, and just last year, was caught violating United Nations sanctions by transferring weapons to North Korea.

These are all the things the men of the Brigade 2506 set out to stop. These are the things they have dedicated their lives to, so that one day Cuba can be free again.

These are reminders of how much was at stake fifty-four years ago, when the brave men of the Brigade fought against overwhelming odds. Today, we pause to honor their sacrifice, and recommit ourselves to the universal right of every man, woman and child to be free – in Cuba and elsewhere around the world.