A small museum in the Bay of Pigs gives the Cuban perspective on the famously failed U.S. invasion.
Located a stone’s throw (or rifle shot) away from Playa Girón, one of the beaches within the Bay of Pigs, Museo Girón houses exhibits and artifacts related to the infamously fruitless American-led invasion of Cuba. The items inside the small, two-room building detail the history of what’s been touted as the first defeat of U.S. imperialism in Latin America.
In April 1961, at the height of the Cold War, about 1,400 exiled Cubans landed in Cuba with the goal of overthrowing Fidel Castro. The operation was planned by the Central Intelligence Agency, which opposed Castro’s communist policies and ties with the Soviet Union.
The invasion failed. About 100 of the invading troops were killed, and the majority of the survivors were taken prisoner and later returned to the United States. More than 170 members of the Cuban Armed Forces were killed and more than 500 were wounded during the battles.
This museum includes exhibits detailing the invasion and counter-attack, the types of weapons used, how the Cuban troops lived and trained, details of the Cuban troops who were killed, the impact on civilians, and how American prisoners-of-war were treated. There’s also a poignant mural dedicated to the victims and displays of their personal items and a short film about the invasion. Tanks and aircraft used in the skirmish are on display outside the museum.
Know Before You Go
There is no English signage in the museum. Visitors who are unable to read Spanish should consider hiring a guide or an interpreter.
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