In 1961, at Bay of Pigs in Cuba, over 1,200 exiled Cubans returned to the country looking to oust Fidel Castro.
It is impossible, especially if you are born Cuban, not to see the resemblance between the two episodes. The one in 1961, when Fidel Castro came out triumphant and used the scenario to boost his own personality and give the people another excuse to hate the American capitalist government, and the remake of that story now in Venezuela, where, two ex-special forces from the US Army have been apprehended.
The circumstances of course are way too different. In the 60’s, Castro was a loved and well-positioned character. He had most of the appreciation of the people and of all those who he didn’t, weren’t there, or were already planning to leave the country. Yes, the country was starting a new course in political and economic terms, but there wasn’t any crisis yet.
On April 15th, 1961, eight planes bombed two different places in Cuba, the airfield in San Antonio de los Baños, to the west, and Antonio Maceo in Santiago de Cuba, way to the east. On the 17th, about 1,400 men landed on Playa Girón, the east side of Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). The next day, April 18th, Cuban forces started the counteroffensive and the fight didn’t last long, the invaders were surrounded and the US Government abandoned them. The next day over 1,100 men surrendered and more than 100 had died.
The same cannot be said about Nicolás Maduro. The majority of his people despise him and want him gone. The country’s infrastructure is in ruins, the people are hungry and sick, and the economy of course in shambles. There is not one good thing you can say about Maduro’s regime. He keeps punishing the opposition, has no idea how to recover the economy, and instead is using the support of criminals, drug-traffickers and other dictators to stay in power.
The COVID-19 in Venezuela is another crisis with little or no data behind that can be trusted. In a country with such scarcity and a health system so frail. How is it possible that only 361 people have contracted the virus, 158 recovered, with only 10 deaths?
Maduro has been feeling the heat in the past few weeks. US sanctions, the drop of oil prices, shortages of every kind, the reward of 15 million dollars on his head, and now the pandemic must have him cornered. So what does he do? Helped by his Cuban masters, he creates an imaginary invasion and uses two Americans to again, point the finger up north and deviate and divide public opinion.
Suddenly, the international press is not talking about COVID-19 in Venezuela. Nor the shortages or the power struggle between him and Juan Guaidó, his stone in the shoe. Even better, now he has a case against Guadió and could well put him in prison, something he has been wanting to do for a long time.
The invasion in Venezuela
Now let’s look at a few things of this so-called “invasion”.
The first thing is that Luke Denman, 34 years old, and Airan Berry 41, both have military training and have been on many operations in the Middle East. I’m not a military expert nor a soldier, but how is it that Denman and Berry were entering a beach in Venezuela in the middle of the morning in an old, slow, and broken fisherman boat?
These two trained men, along with six others, were apprehended by what it looks like no more than 10 mixed police and military Venezuelans while a helicopter flew by. One of the men, who was recording, tells the other in the video released earlier today: “they ordered me to record this”.
I mean, these guys came to invade a country and oust a dictator -who has the control of the police, armed forces, drug-traffickers, and hundreds of “colectivos” (criminals with guns)-, with 292 others without guns or any kind of air support. They lifted their hands as soon as they saw the police and didn’t even shoot one bullet.
Maduro was quick to say on TV that the White House with help of the Colombian government was behind the failed invasion. He showed some radios and clothes, no guns, not even a pistol. Then he mentioned some names of the Colombian military and displayed their pictures and some emblems with the US flag for uniforms.
Now we are supposed to believe that a US Military operation approved sending, in 2020, two ex-military, in a rotting fishing boat with six others, to create a revolution, or let us say, to make a surgical extraction of Nicolás Maduro.
The comparison between both operations should be enough to understand how flawed the script behind the new one is. For me, it’s like watching the movie The Invasion, and then watching the remake with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, but in this case with special effects of the 20th Century.