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Cubans Insist Air Cover Was Promised for ’61 Bay of Pigs Invasion

Jan. 24, 1963 - Despite denials by President Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and Col. José Perez-San Roman, brigade commander, Cubans closely involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion insist that air cover was promised them by the U.S. Statements that no such cover was promised have stirred the great debate of 1963 in Miami with the U.S. image emerging somewhat darkened among the Cuban exiles. Dr. Manuel Antonio de Varona (left), who was minister of war of the Cuban revolutionary council in the first month of its formation just preceding the invasion in April 1961, was blunt in his rebuttal to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. “An American colonel,” Verona said, “assured me on Feb. 19, 1961, when I expressed my concern because of the reduced number of troops, that the patriots would have ‘full control of the air’ during the invasion, and he promised me that I would be called to discuss the plans and to land with the liberation brigade. Trusting in that promise, I returned to Miami to make complementary efforts.”


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