1.Cienfuegos A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos is a showcase of Neoclassical architecture. The city feels laid back and even prosperous. Jose Marti Park in the center of town is a shady spot to take in the elegant surrounding buildings. Then stroll the country’s longest promenade, Paseo del Prado. On the waterfront are more stunning buildings and views of the beautiful bay. Continue reading →
About 2 hours southeast of Havana, on the Caribbean Sea, the Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron) is the site of an attempted counter-revolutionary coup by Cuban exiles in April of 1961. With backing from the U.S. government, the invading forces included airstrikes, infantry and paratroopers. The offensive began on April 15, when eight B-26 Bombers attacked Cuban airfields. On the night of April 16, the main invasion landed at Playa Giron Beach. After three days of resistance, under the command of then Prime Minister Fidel Castro, the invaders surrendered on April 20.
The failed invasion strengthened the position of Castro’s administration, which proceeded to strengthen ties with the Soviet Union, leading to the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The invasion was a major embarrassment for the U.S. government and internal investigations were ordered by President Kennedy.
Today there is a very good little museum at Playa Giron, where all the pictures in this post were taken.