University Archives


A Unique Castro Handwritten Manuscript: Notes for a speech possibly given at the United Nations decrying U.S. actions in the wake of the Bay of Pigs

A unique Castro Bay of Pigs related AMS, believed to be notes for a speech given at the United Nations decrying U.S. actions in the wake of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The two-page manuscript is in the hand of Fidel Castro, on one 6" x 8.75" sheet of paper, front and back. Undated. There is light toning and wear along top edge, otherwise in fine condition.

To put the manuscript in historical context, in March 1960, a French freighter unloading munitions from Belgium exploded in Havana, taking 75 lives and injuring 200, some who later died. The U.S. denied Cuba's accusation of sabotage but admitted that it wanted to prevent the shipment. The bad blood reached a high point in April 1961 with the infamous CIA-organized Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Over 100 exiles died in the attack, and Cuba took close to 1,200 others prisoner. It was later revealed that four American pilots flying for the CIA had lost their lives as well. The Bay of Pigs assault relied heavily on the assumption that the Cuban public would rise up to join the invaders, but that was not the case. The leadership and ranks of the exile forces were riddled with former supporters and henchmen of Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban dictator overthrown by Castro in 1959. The Cuban people would not have welcomed them back under any circumstances.

The manuscript is written in Spanish in blue ballpoint pen, with cross-outs and margin notes that gives insight into Castro’s thought process: "Hiram of Lubrijón, [not sure] 'The Revolutionary Government is very aware of the desperate efforts that is [illegible] the efforts that reflect in the last days [cross-out] the open [cross-out] activity that the imperialism has been realizing during the last weeks in order to promote at all cost [illegible] revolutionaries, terrorism acts, murder attempts and all type of fights that have a tendency to interfere with the revolutionary process [illegible]. That activity has been doubled after [cross-out] reports have been expressed to the U.N. to the Prime Minister of the Government. It seems like they are worried within the Justice department of the United States Government, every time the anger and desperation increases, because of our solid activity and the victorious and uncontrollable development of our revolution that translates each time in a less dissimulated support of anti-revolutionaries, the war criminals and the worse [cross-out and partly illegible] traitors, mercenaries of all type that [illegible] of service. Disembark between Moa and Baracoa [not sure] group of expatriates and gringos coming from [cross-out]. They left the United States. They are 27 in total Leaders dead. One hurt and another prisoner [illegible and cross-out] quickly attacked combated [cross-out] by the army forces and militia's farmers. [Next all crossed-out] The Ministry of the Armed Forces communicates the following: In the day of yesterday [illegible] communicates the headquarters of [illegible] Militia of the West.”

The Kennedy administration, acutely embarrassed by their unmitigated Bay of Pigs defeat, almost immediately launched Operation Mongoose, a campaign of smaller attacks on Cuba. Cuba was subjected to countless sea and air commando raids by exiles throughout the 1960's, at times accompanied by their CIA supervisors. These attacks damaged oil refineries, chemical plants, railroad bridges, cane fields, sugar mills and sugar warehouses. Spies, saboteurs, and assassins were infiltrated into Cuba, doing anything they could to damage the Cuban economy, promote disaffection and make the revolution look bad.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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