Bay of Pigs

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Felix Rodriguez, Brigade 2506, Bay of Pigs, Cuba.JPG
FELIX RODRIGUEZ, 69<br />
Infiltration team<br />
From his safe house inside Cuba, Felix Rodriguez remembers the shock at seeing <br />
television reports of the the camouflaged Bay of Pigs invaders being rounded up, <br />
hands behind their heads.<br />
Rodriguez, the current president of Assault Brigade 2506, had been smuggled into <br />
Cuba weeks earlier and had been supplying the underground movement with arms and <br />
equipment -- waiting for orders to join the fight to topple Fidel Castro's <br />
government soon after the invasion was launched.<br />
 "The Americans never informed us the invasion was on its way; I was caught by <br />
surprise,'' he said. Instead, Rodriguez said Castro launched a massive crackdown <br />
across the country.<br />
 "They began rounding up everybody suspected of being part of the opposition. <br />
There were as many as 100,000 activists held in sports stadiums and inside the <br />
famous Blanquita Theater.''<br />
 Rodriguez found himself trapped with no way out of Cuba.<br />
 "I would call people on the phone who had been working with me and no one would <br />
answer. Or someone would answer and encourage me to come right over -- a trap.''<br />
 After several tense days, a Cuban woman working with the Brigade infiltrators <br />
helped him get to the Venezuelan embassy in Havana, where he sought political <br />
asylum. "If it wasn't for her, I would have been caught and killed,'' he said.<br />
 "The invasion was a total disaster.''Bay of Pigs veteran,  Felix Rodriguez poses at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Little Havana. He is a member of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, Brigade 2506