Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Special assistant to President
John F. Kennedy with oversight of, among other issues, all Latin American
initiatives, including the Alliance for Progress. During the Bay
of Pigs, he served as liaison with Cuban exile leadership. Alone
among JFK’s top advisers, he opposed the invasion. Also one of the
most eminent U.S. historians, having won the Pulitzer Prize twice and having
written best-selling biographies of both John Kennedy (A Thousand Days,
1965) and Robert Kennedy (Robert Kennedy and His Times, 1978).
Richard Goodwin. Special assistant to candidate, and then
President Kennedy. He became Cuban affairs coordinator in the summer of
1961; and met with Che Guevara in Montevideo in August 1961. He was
deputy assistant secretary for Inter-American affairs at the State Department
during the Kennedy administration, and later a special assistant to President
Johnson. He was key actor in the Alliance for Progress. He is the
author of The American Condition, and Remembering America: A
Voice from the Sixties.
John Nolan. Partner at the Washington law firm of Steptoe &
Johnson. Marine Corps veteran and former Supreme Court clerk who was active
in the Kennedy presidential campaign of 1960. Enlisted by RFK aides
in late 1962 to serve as a deputy to James Donovan in negotiating the release
of the Brigade 2506 prisoners, and later the American prisoners in Cuba.
In April 1963, he and Donovan were given a guided tour of the Giron battle
site by Fidel Castro. He subsequently served as chief of staff to Attorney
General Robert Kennedy in 1963-64.
Robert Reynolds. CIA chief of Miami base (the largest CIA station
in the world) from September 1960 to October 1961, and from March-September
1960 served as deputy to Jacob Esterline, the CIA’s task force chief.
Began his CIA Latin America career in 1949 and served in Mexico, Argentina,
Bolivia and Brazil. From 1957 to March 1960 was the CIA’s Caribbean
desk officer monitoring the Cuban revolution. Retired from CIA and
the Foreign Service in 1968. Subsequent career as an energy consultant.
Samuel Halpern. CIA executive assistant (chief of staff) for
Operation Mongoose. Trained as a historian at the City College of
New York and a World War II veteran of CIA’s predecessor agency, the OSS,
he spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, specializing in
covert operations. He was working in Asia when he was called back
to Washington in the wake of the Bay of Pigs to help organize Mongoose,
which was led by Gen. Edward Lansdale of the Defense Department and William
K. Harvey of the CIA. He subsequent served as executive assistant
to CIA’s director of covert operations, retiring in the early 1970s.
Wayne Smith. U.S. Embassy political officer in Havana from 1958
until the closing of the Embassy in January 1961. After the Bay of
Pigs, he became assistant to the State Department’s assistant secretary
for Latin America Adolf Berle, and subsequently rose to the position of
director for Cuban affairs in the State Department. In 1978-80 served
as the chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Now a professor
at the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International
Affairs and a fellow of the Center for International Policy, he is the
author of The Closest of Enemies (1987) on U.S.-Cuban relations.
Alfredo Duran. An early enlistee in Brigade 2506, he received
guerrilla training for the infiltration plan and later, after the plan
changed, training as an infantryman. After the invasion failed, he spent
30 days in the swamp, attempting to escape but was eventually captured.
He is a practicing lawyer in Miami, a past president Brigade 2506 Veterans'
Association, and former chair Florida Democratic Party.
Luis Tornes. Recruited into Brigade 2506 in New York City in
December 1960. Served as an infantryman in Battalion 3 during the
invasion. Taken prisoner and returned to the U.S. in December 1962.
Underwent U.S. military training at Fort Jackson in 1963 as part of a special
unit for what he believed would be a future invasion. Participated
in clandestine activities directed against Cuba in the mid-1960s.
Currently the owner and publisher of the Spanish-language newspaper, the
Roberto Carballo, is a Brigade 2506 veteran. He enlisted
in January 1960, and was assigned to the 3rd company of the 4th battalion.
After returning with the other brigade members to the U.S., he studied
political science in Puerto Rico. In the early 1970s he was an executive
officer on Team B of the Plan Torriente conducting operations against the
government in Cuba. He was President of the Bay of Pigs Veterans
Association between 1976 and 1978, and a founding member of the Cuban Committee
for Democracy. He currently lives in Mexico where he is a businessman
and hotel owner.
Jorge Dominguez is Clarence Dillon professor of international
affairs and Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books and articles
on Cuba and U.S. policy, including the major textbook, Cuba, and
Future of InterAmerican Relations.
James Blight, professor of international relations at Brown University’s
Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies. He was
the organizer of the 1992 Havana conference on the Crisis de Octubre, and
is the author of numerous books and articles including, Cuba On the
Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse.
Julia Sweig, is a Cuba specialist at the Washington office of
the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of the forthcoming
book, The Cuban Insurrection Declassified.
Piero Gleijeses, is professor of U.S. foreign policy at Johns
Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He
is the author of numerous books and articles, including the article “Ships
in the Night: The CIA, the White House, and the Bay of Pigs,” and the forthcoming
Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa, 1959-1976.
Peter Kornbluh directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the
National Security Archive, and is the author of Bay of Pigs Declassified:
The Secret CIA Report on the Bay of Pigs. He serves as the U.S. coordinator
for the North American delegation to the “Giron: 40 Anos Despues” conference.
James G. Hershberg is associate professor of history and international
affairs at George Washington University. He is the former director
of the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., and has done extensive research
on documents relating to Cuba in the Canadian, Brazilian, and British foreign
Philip Brenner is professor of international politics at the
American University. He has written numerous books, and articles
on various aspects of U.S.-Cuban relations, including The Cuba Reader:
the Making of a Revolutionary Society.
Max Azicri, is a professor at Edinboro State University specializing
in Cuba. A Cuban-American, he briefly served as a diplomatic envoy
to Uruguay for the Brigade in 1961. He is the author of most recently
of Cuba Today and Tomorrow: Reinventing Socialism.
Saul Landau is a professor at California State Polytechnic University.
He is an emmy-award winning film maker, whose documentaries include “Fidel.”
He is the author of numerous books and articles on Cuba, Chile, and U.S.
foreign policy, including Assassination on Embassy Row (with John
Thomas S. Blanton is executive director of the National Security
Archive, the U.S. co-sponsor of the Giron conference. He is the author
of White House E-Mail, among other books and articles.
William LeoGrande, is a professor and former dean at American
University. He has written extensively about U.S. policy toward Central
America and Cuba. He is the author, most recently of Our Own Backyard:
The United States in Central America, 1977-1992.
P. Terrence Hopmann is professor of political science and director
of the program on global security at the Watson Institute for International
Studies at Brown University, and was a participant in the 1996 Musgrove
conference on the Bay of Pigs.