[After the disaster of the Bay of Pigs,] the brigade prisoners remained in captivity for 20 months, as the United States negotiated a deal with Fidel Castro. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy made personal pleas for contributions from pharmaceutical companies and baby food manufacturers, and Castro eventually settled on $53 million worth of baby food and medicine in exchange for the prisoners.
On December 23, 1962, just two months after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a plane containing the first group of freed prisoners landed in the United States. A week later, on Saturday, December 29, surviving brigade members gathered for a ceremony in Miami’s Orange Bowl…
- JFK Library
The following is my translation of Mrs. Kennedy’s speech. During her speech, the crowd was cutting her off with applause and words of encouragement. The speech can be found here.
It is an honor for me in being here today among a group of some of the bravest men in the entire world, and to participate in the joy that your family members have to express, which for such a long time lived hopeful, begged, and waited. I feel proud if my son had known your officials. He is much too young to be aware of what has happened here, but I will make sure to tell him the story of our bravery as he grows up. It is my desire and my hope that one day he’ll be a man at least half as brave that have been the members of the Brigade 2506. Good luck!