Cuba Support Group Ireland
PRESS RELEASE, 12 April 2011

NATIONAL TOUR 14 – 21 APRIL: Bay of Pigs Anniversary Celebration

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Victory at the Bay of Pigs

10 towns, 8 days, 3 Cubans, 50 years of resistance: Cuba Support Group
Ireland, in conjunction with Irish Friends of Cuba Coalition, is pleased to
announce a major tour of Ireland by a high-level delegation from Cuba to
celebrate the victory of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces over the CIA
back mercenary invasion of Cuba on 16 April 1961. This will be an event
that anyone with an interest in Cuba, world history, politics or journalism
will want to participate. The delegation will be lead by Col. Victor Dreke,
a highly decorated Cuban military commander and veteran of the Bay of Pigs

The tour will culminate with a day-long symposium in Liberty hall Dublin on
16 April examining the historical significance of the Bay of Pigs, the
enduring validity of the Cuban Revolution and the Challenges that Cuba is
facing today.

Symposium in Liberty Hall, Dublin

09:00 – 09:30

09:30 – 10:30
Documentary film: “66 Hours” – The True Story of Bay of Pigs.
Directed by Otto M. Guzmán, MUNDO LATINO

10:30 – 10:45
Introduction by Jack McGinley, Chair of the SIPTU Solidarity with Cuba

10:45 – 11:45
Historical significance of the Bay of Pigs Victory.
Speakers: Víctor Dreke, Deputy Chairman of the Association of Combatants of
the Cuban Revolution, Bay of Pigs veteran.
Moderator: Gerry Grainger, Workers Party

11:45 – 12:00
12:00 – 13:00

Validity of the Cuban Revolution 50 years after declaring its socialist
Speaker: Reinaldo Taladrid, journalist and political analyst
Moderator: Eugene Mc Cartan, Communist Party of Ireland

13:00 – 14:00

14:00 – 16:30
Solidarity with Cuba Presentations and adoption of Plan of Action
– The US blockade.
Speakers: Simon McGuinness and Dr. David Hickey, Cuba Support Group and
María Aleida del Riego, Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.
– EU Common Position on Cuba.
Speakers: Barbara de Brun MEP and Teresita Trujillo, Cuban Ambassador to
– The Miami Five.
Speakers: Reinaldo Taladrid, Finian McGrath TD and Jimmy Kelly, UNITE.

Closing remarks. Adoption of the Final Declaration.
Speaker; Jack O’Connor ICTU.

Laying of wreath at the memorial to Commandant James Connolly by Cuban


Advanced registration for Dublin event recommended via email to

The Cuban Delegation

Col. Victor Dreke Cruz
On 17 April 1961, the first day of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Victor Dreke
assumed command of two companies of the 117th Battalion, taking part in a
clash with paratroops of US lead “Brigade 2506” under the command of
Comandante Che Guevara. On 19 April, he was wounded in combat and briefly
captured after driving towards Girón in a jeep ahead of his tanks.

Highly decorated in Cuba and Africa, he was to serve in Congo in 1965 under
Che, and later in 1966-8 in Guinea-Bissau, he retired in 1990.

Reinaldo Taladrid
Award winning Cuban journalist TV presenter and broadcaster, Reinaldo
Taladrid has worked for most of the major news channels in the USA and
currently hosts a nightly “Round Table” political discussion on Cuban TV
which is broadcast to the whole of Latin America on the TeleSUR satellite.
He is one of the most recognised people in Cuba and has interviewed all of
the Cuban leaders and two US presidents. He is uniquely placed to provide
an overview of Cuba’s place in Latin America, its current economic
adjustments and the prospects of US-Cuban relations.

Maria Aleida del Riego
Coordinator for Ireland and Britain of the Cuban Institute of Friendship of
the Peoples (ICAP), Maria Aleida del Riego have visited Ireland before and
is familiar with all the groups in these Irelands who are active in support
of the Cuban Revolution. Maria coordinates the brigades on which Irish
people travel to Cuba and is an invaluable source of information and
assistance to visitors who want to understand the nature of Cuban society.

National Bay of Pigs Tour Programme

Thursday, 14 April, 18:00 hrs
Reinaldo Taladrid – Public meeting at the University of Limerick – Room
C1061 in Main Building
Cuba Support Group
Contact: Nina Blodau

Thursday, 14 April 19:00 hrs.
Maria Aleida del Riego – Public meeting
Waterford Trades Council
Contact: Tommy Hogan
Ph: 086 1656818

Saturday, 16 April 09.00 – 18.00
Liberty Hall Bay of Pigs Celebration
Day-Long Conference (see detailed programme below)
SIPTU / Cuba Support Group Contact: Simon McGuinness

Monday, 18 April, 19.00
Victor Dreke & Reinaldo Taladrid – Public meeting in Europa Hotel
With film, music and presentations
Sinn Fein
Contact Sean Murray

Monday, 18 April, 20.00
Maria Aleida del Riego – Public meeting in Sandino’s
Sinn Fein
Contact Daisy Mules

Tuesday, 19 April, 20.00
Victor Dreke & Reinaldo Taladrid – Public meeting in SIPTU Hall
Galway Trades Union Council
Contact: Pat Hardiman

Tuesday, 19 April, 19.00
Maria Aleida del Riego – Public meeting in Station House (Ramada) Hotel;
with Cuban film “66 Hours”
Cuba Support Group
Contact: Bill O’Brien

Wednesday, 20 April
Maria Aleida del Riego Public meeting in Glasshouse Hotel, Hyde Bridge
Organized by Declan Bree

Wednesday, 20 April, 19.30
Reinaldo Taladrid – Public meeting venue Imperial Hotel
Sinn Féin
Contact: Emma McArdle

Thursday, 21 April, 19.30
Victor Dreke, Reinaldo Taladrid & Maria Aleida del Riego Public meeting in
Connolly Hall.
Cuba Support Group contact: John Bowen


Further information and to arrange media interviews with the delegation

Simon McGuinness,
National Coordinator,
Cuba Support Group Ireland,
15 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Ph: 087 6785842