By Las Vegas Tribune Staff
Fifty-eight years ago today, an event that changed the life of many people in two different countries, took place showing how the American politics could change showing a not-too-good picture of the behavior of those who we elect to office putting the future of the nation in their hands.
Following his election in November 1960, President John F. Kennedy learned of the invasion plan, concluded that Fidel Castro was a Soviet client posing a threat to all of Latin America and, after consultations with his advisers, gave his consent for the CIA-planned clandestine invasion of Cuba to proceed. Launched from Guatemala, the attack went wrong almost from the start. Components of Brigade 2506 landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961, and were defeated within two days by Cuban armed forces under the direct command of Castro.
Part of the failing invasion should be pointed to the liberal media in the United States because their urgency to be “the first to break the story” alerted the already socialist government of Cuba and they were waiting for the brave freedom fighters hoping to take their country back.
The United States had compromised with the Cuban invaders to give them air support so the socialist Cuban Air Force planes were not able to fly over the invasion, but later the American politicians failed to fulfill that promise and all 1500 members of the Brigade 2506 were captured, put in Cuban prisons and later exchanged for US Dollars, medicine, and agriculture equipment for the freedom of those who were left alone by the empty promises of the five-month-old Democrat administration in the United States.
As always, the negotiations started and meeting after meeting there were members of the Brigade 2506 freedom fighters — now prisoners of the communist government in Cuba — groups of negotiators to determine how much money each prisoner was worth.
Among those prisoners acting as negotiators was a Las Vegas man, Attorney Waldo De Castroverde, a paratrooper with the Brigade 2506, elected by his comrades to serve on the commission that negotiated with the Kennedy administration to free his fellow captives and who was let out of the Cuban concentration camp to come to negotiate the exchange.
Waldo De Castroverde made two trips from Cuba to wherever those negotiations were to take place in the United States and the two times Waldo De Castroverde returned to his cell in the Cuban prison because he was not going to leave his brothers in arms alone there.
We feel that the principals, the integrity and the courage of Waldo De Castroverde have not been fully recognized by anyone in the local Cuban community and we want to recognize Attorney Waldo De Castroverde on this anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion hoping that members of the Cuban community in Las Vegas give their countryman the honor he deserves.
As an attorney in Las Vegas he may not have been perfect, but we have to ask ourselves, how many men that are let out of a communist prison will come back, just not once, but twice, to his cell in solidarity with his fellow soldiers.
We are not speaking out on Waldo De Castroverde’s legal performance in the United States (unfortunately, we know how law is practiced in this country; the fate of any defendant is in the hands of the prosecutors, not the judge nor the defense attorney) and that is how so many people are found not guilty after ten, twenty or even thirty years of wrongful incarceration.
We are speaking about the brave behavior of a man who left his family behind to fight for his country and free his country of the terrible poison that is the communist system; he had the opportunity to get out not once, but twice and refused to leave his fellow countrymen behind.
We had the opportunity and the honor of meeting Waldo De Castroverde and are proud to share many great moments with him. He is no longer part of us; he passed away Nov. 8, 2014, but we never miss the opportunity of recognizing this brave Cuban patriot and nothing will bring us more satisfaction than to see Waldo De Castroverde being recognized by his fellow countrymen. Yet while we wait for that time, we stand up and respectfully salute this great freedom-fighter, anti-communist and faithful American.