Miami-Dade County

Historic designation sought for Bay of Pigs museum

Bay of Pigs Veterans Association Brigade 2506 members Jorge Infiesta Casals and Santiago Junt at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Little Havana in 2011.
Bay of Pigs Veterans Association Brigade 2506 members Jorge Infiesta Casals and Santiago Junt at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Little Havana in 2011. MIAMI HERALD FILE

The Bay of Pigs Veteran Association Brigade 2506 is seeking historic designation for the Little Havana museum and library dedicated to the failed attempt by CIA-sponsored Cuban exiles to overthrow the communist regime of Fidel Castro in 1961.

The building, located on a residential lot on Southwest Ninth Street, was only rebuilt and opened in 1986 on property donated by developer and Bay of Pigs veteran Raúl Masvidal. But Frank de Varona, an author and Brigade 2506 veteran who applied to the city on behalf of the association, wrote in an application that the museum and library play a significant role in the history of Miami’s Cuban exile community.

The museum preserves books, maps, photos, documents, flags, weapons and uniforms of the hundreds of soldiers, sailors and pilots of Assault Brigade 2506, which invaded Cuba with the backing of the CIA. More than 100 died and the rest were captured after their support was cut off by the Kennedy administration.

“It exemplifies the historical, political, cultural, and social life of the Cuban community as well as the bravery of the members of the Brigade 2506 who fought against the tyrannical communist regime to bring freedom to Cuba,” de Varona wrote.

Miami's Historic and Environmental Preservation Board will consider de Varona's request to prepare a historic designation report during its Tuesday meeting at Miami City Hall.

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