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First Bay of Pigs Prisoners to Arrive in Florida Tomorrow

Dec. 22, 1962 - U.S. official sources said tonight the first planeload of Cuba invasion prisoners would be flown to Florida 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. The source, at Homestead Air Force Base where the captives (pictured at their trial in Cuba) are to be landed, said a Pan American World Airways plane would depart at 6 a.m. from Miami International Airport for Havana. A second flight will leave Miami at 6:30 a.m., the spokesman said. Meanwhile, other Pan-Am planes will fly to Havana carrying cargo which will supplement the drugs and food demanded by Fidel Castro in modern history’s biggest ransom deal for 1,113 men captured in the April 17, 1961 invasion of the Bay of Pigs in southwest Cuba. In Havana, the prisoners were reported to be “mad with joy” behind walls of prisons where Castro has kept them penned. No moves toward celebration in advance were apparent among the captives’ 20,000 relatives living in Miami’s Cuban exile colony of more than 100,000. Negotiations have been stalled twice before. “After all this,” said one exile, “we cannot be sure of anything.” Others were anxiously hopeful that this time their boys really would come home.

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