Guatemala apologises to Cuba for role in Bay of Pigs

February 18th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, Feb 18 (IANS) Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has publicly apologized for his country’s role in allowing its territory to be used to train the exiles and mercenaries who participated in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, EFE reported.
“Today, I want to apologize to Cuba for our country having offered its territory to prepare the invasion of Cuba,” Colom said during a speech at the University of Havana.

The invasion at the Bay of Pigs, known in Cuba as Giron Beach, came in 1961 on the southern coast of the province of Matanzas.

The attackers expected their assault would prompt a rebellion on the island against Fidel Castro’s regime, but no such uprising took place.

Brigade 2506, made up of 1,500 Cuban exiles and mercenaries financed and trained in Guatemala and Nicaragua by the US, was launched April 17, 1961, and was decisively defeated two days later.

“It was not us, but it was our territory and I want to officially apologise to Cuba as president, as head of state and as commander in chief of the Guatemalan Army,” Colom added.

Guatemala was ruled at the time by a US-backed military regime.

Colom arrived in Cuba Sunday night on his first official visit to the communist-ruled island.

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