“Here [in Miami] I started to meet with friends, some did missions to Cuba, others were in contact with the American government, and I opted, in December 1960, to enroll in what was later the Bay of Pigs Invasion. I think that we as the Cuban youth suffered a strong blow, because many of us believed, even when we were still in Cuba, that it was time for Cuba to have peace and balance, with no need to join one party or another, we simply wanted to live a peaceful life, to study and push forward our homeland much more than we could.”
“On 15 April a group of us went to attack the military airports of Cuba – Santiago de Cuba, Ciudad Libertad and Pinar del Río. Many of their planes were destroyed, although these four or five remained, and we lost the life of our first pilot there. I have a hard time and it hurts me deeply to remember what I have seen in so many movies, what I actually participated in… We slept, each of us with a ‘crate’, as we called it, and one of the instructors told me: “Julio, you were Martin’s good friend, so take his belongings, they killed him.’ How come they killed him? ‘Yes, his plane was shot down in Havana, and the two of them fell engulfed in flames straight down to Cuba.’ It was simply an unforgettable moment.”
“We began to doubt very soon that the current dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro, would not stay at his post, and that the things were not what they had promised us. They had promised elections in Cuba, they had promised freedom where we could disagree without the danger of being shot or going to jail for 30 years. Our partner in the newspaper, Alfredo Izaguirre, served 26 years in prison. He was taken prisoner because when we were meeting together and deciding what we were going to do with the editorial policy of our newspaper and with us as a people, I took my path to go into exile to participate in an intended invasion, and I left Cuba. Alfredo stayed and served 30 years. On 25 May 1960, I arrived in the city of Miami, still with a journalist’s card, as we were supposed to be covering an event began by Fulgencio Batista, and Fidel Castro was still in New York at that time. I arrived here, I immediately asked for political asylum, I explained who we were, they immediately accepted us, and that was the moment when I began to decide what could be done to convert that system that we undoubtedly feared and that became exactly what we feared it would.”
“You, young Cuban who can hear me, or youngster from any part of the world, who believes that communism is perhaps a way out of your social or economic situation... Communism will lead you to total ruin. Fight to improve yourself, to improve your country, to improve the philosophy in what is democracy, and do not think that... Look at Cuba, where it has gone... Everything that Cuba sells today is propaganda. There is more hunger than ever, thousands of Cubans have been shot, killed in front of a wall shouting: ‘Long live free Cuba, long live Jesus Christ!’ And for their memory, we have to keep going.”
To fight for a free Cuba is the duty of all good Cubans
Julio González Rebull was born in 1936 in the Cuban capital of Havana. He grew up in the family of the owner of the newspaper Crisol, who also ran a radio station. During his years of adolescence, he began to dedicate himself to journalism in the media of his father. With the newspaper‘s increasing friction with the Castro regime, Julio emigrated to the United States, where he immediately contacted other Cuban exiles who were involved in plans to invade the island. He began to work at Radio Swan, a station that transmitted to Cuba from Miami, which served as a source of information for Cubans who disagreed with what happened after the Cuban Revolution. Then he entered US training camps, where young Cubans were prepared to conduct an invasion and overthrow the newly installed regime of Fidel Castro. He made several air missions to Cuba from bases located in Central America, distributing informative pamphlets, and he continued transmitting from the camps. After the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs, he returned to the United States, where he participated in supplying and helping the rebels who were fighting against Fidel Castro in Cuba. He made three missions in boats to the Cuban coast. Julio maintains his conviction in regard to the disastrous effects of the Castro administration on his home island, which was among the three richest countries in Latin America before the revolution.