All photographs by Jim Rasenberger, April 17-18, 2010.
30 An apartment building in Havana, near the Malecón (the promenade along the sea), named after Girón and apparently designed to look like a fortress.
25 A billboard at the entrance to Playa Larga, the secondary landing beach of the invasion. "ALL FOR THE REVOLUTION."
24 Mangrove from the swamps that surround the Bay of Pigs has long been a staple product of the region. The wood is burnt to make charcoal. Local charcoal makers comprised a large part of the militias that first met the brigade.
23 One of the crabs whose ancestors tormented the brigade. Wounded survivors of the invasion would wake up in the swamps to find the black and red creatures nibbling on their torn flesh.
21 Goats roam free on the road that runs along the sea. The dark splotches on the pavement are the remains of land crabs, millions of which migrate from the swamp to the sea every April. Tens of thousands are crushed by cars, trucks, and buses. The crabs get their revenge by wreaking havoc on the vehicles’ tires. They also fill the air with the stench of rotting crab meat.
14 In anticipation of VIPs who will arrive from Havana on April 19 to participate in the ceremony, workers decorate the road with palm fronds.
13 In front of the Hotel Playa Girón workers set up for a ceremony to commemorate the victory at the Bay of Pigs, an annual event. This ceremony, held on April 19, 2010, marked the 49th anniversary.
11 The seawall, facing west. In the distance is the beach of the Hotel Playa Girón, a resort that was under construction at the time of the invasion.
9 And closer still, from the opposite side. (I stopped taking photographs when I realized that one of the sentries was peering back at me through binoculars.)
7 Facing west again. The structure in the distance is currently a sentry post for the Cuban military.
6 Another view to the west, including boats, fisherman's shack, and the road that runs along the sea.
4 Another view to the east. Not visible here is the coral beneath the surface of the water, an obstacle that caused the invasion force much grief.
3 On Playa Girón, facing east. Here the invasion of the Bay of Pigs began shortly after midnight on April 17, 1961, when Cuban exiles seeking to overthrow Castro came ashore. They were almost immediately met by small arms fire, which they quickly suppressed.
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