The Bay of Pigs: Revisiting Two Museums

Peter Read, Marivic Wyndham

Abstract

The Museum of Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs) in the region of Cienega De Zapata, Cuba, celebrates the repulse of Brigade 2506 as the first reverse of US imperialism on the American continents. The equivalent Brigade 2506 Museum in Miami, dedicated to and maintained by the members of Brigade 2506, celebrates defeat at the Bay of Pigs as moral victory for the Cuban exiles. The forces were indeed implacable foes.

Yet between the museums can be detected some curious similarities. Both present the common theme of the confrontation between forces of good and evil. Both celebrate the philosophy that dying for one’s country is the greatest good a citizen may achieve. Both museums fly the common Cuban flag. Both museums identify a common enemy: the United States of America.

This article, by comparing the displays in the two museums, analyses some cultural elements of what, despite decades of separation, in some ways remains a common Cuban culture.

Keywords

Museums; Cuba; Bay of Pigs; exile; machismo

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