43. 11/15/1956

“It was 1956 when Fidel [Castro] swam the Rio Grande over to McAllen, Texas to meet with Carlos Prio, the civilian president that [Fulgencio] Batista had overthrown in 1952. Prio agreed to give Fidel money. He gave him $100,000. With that money they bought weapons. They continued their training. They found a yacht on which they could sail back to the far eastern province of Cuba known as Oriente and begin the armed struggle again against Batista…Late one night, after midnight, in a storm in late November of 1956, they set sail. It was a nightmare all the way. It was stormy. There was constant seasickness and diarrhea. They ran out of food and water. The navigator fell overboard. Everything happened. It all ended in a shipwreck. They ran aground on a mud flat some miles from where they had intended to land. They had to wade through hi-deep mud up to the shore, leaving behind their weapons. What was waiting onshore? A huge man-grove swamp that swallowed them up. It looked like Moncada all over again. The Granma was the name of the yacht. It was built of wood in 1943 for a maximum of twenty-five people. So you can imagine what it was like with eighty-two, plus the weapons, plus the stores, and everything else. It took them a little more than a week to get from Tuxpan on the Mexican coast to Oriente.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

Philip Agee, “A Century of War and Bad Faith; Cuba History, and the CIA,” Prevailing Winds Magazine, March 9, 1994, Page 24

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