He had grown up a rich kid, believe it or not: the illegitimate son of a millionaire planter and a servant girl half his age. He was named “Truth,” he was handsome and rugged, a 6’3″ charismatic giant who had arrived back on his native shore with Che Guevara and handful of men on a leaky tub named “Granma.”
He faced off against Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama and lived to see the election of Donald Trump. His name was Fidel Castro, and he brought communism to the Western Hemisphere. He would turn his native Cuba into a launching pad for Soviet nuclear missiles, a mere 90 miles south of the Florida keys. He would impoverish his nation for six decades and die with $900,000,000 in his personal bank account.
And his first and greatest test would be to repel an American- backed invasion at Playa Giron, a beach on the southern coast of Cuba at the mouth of an inlet called the Bay of Pigs.