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Conference Sponsors: Universidad de La Habana, Centro de Estudios sobre Estados Unidos, Instituto de Historia de Cuba, Centro de Investigaciones Historicas de la Seguridad del Estado; Centro de Estudios sobre America.
Co-Sponsor: The National Security Archive, George Washington University.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Evening: Reception, Hotel Palco, Palacio de Convenciones, La Habana

Thursday, March 22, 2001

PANEL I: The policy of the U.S. towards Cuba, the motivation, planning and preparations for the invasion
Morning session -- Panel Moderator: James Blight, Brown University

Panel Introductions: 
Peter Kornbluh, Director, the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive.
Tomas Diaz, Senior Archivist, El Instituto de Historia, Havana, Cuba.

The goal of the opening session is to address U.S. perceptions and motivations of Cuba, and the evolution of policy and planning for the invasion of Cuba. The session will cover issues ranging from the CIA's initial impressions of Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution, to the transformation of Operation JMATE from an initial plan to infiltrate small cadre bands to train and support internal resistance to the revolution to a major paramilitary assault on the island. The history of the formulation, organization, and implementation of Brigade 2506 will also be a focus of this session. 

PANEL II: The response of Cuba to the North American threat 
Afternoon session -- Panel Moderator: Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Panel Introductions:
Jorge Dominguez, Harvard University
Jose Luis Mendez, Center for Historical Investigation on National Security

This session focuses on Cuba's actions, awareness and response to the growing threat of a U.S. invasion. It covers events from 1959-early 1961, a period of time when the revolution established itself internally and in its relations with Latin America and the United States. Discussions may address Cuba’s intelligence on U.S. preparations for the invasion, Cuban diplomatic, political and military efforts to prepare for an eventual attack. They may also cover Cuban efforts to find allies in Latin America and beyond as a challenge to Washington, and the pivotal decision to order the reduction of U S embassy personnel that precipitated the break in U.S.-Cuban bilateral relations. 

Friday, March 23, 2001

PANEL III: The Military Battle at Playa Girón 
Morning Session -- Moderators: Angel Jimenez Gonzales, Bay of Pigs veteran, Center for Military Studies; and Thomas Blanton, National Security Archive, George Washington University
Panel Introductions:
Gen. Samuel Rodiles Planas, Ministry of the Armed Forces, Bay of Pigs veteran
James Blight, Brown University

This session covers the history of the actual battle starting with the first attack on April 15th and ending with the capture of the Brigade on April 19th. Discussions will evaluate the progression of the battle; the impact of the first air strike; the military strategy pursued by both sides, and the perceived factors for victory and defeat.

PANEL IV: The Aftermath of Girón: Impact, Legacy and Lessons
Afternoon session -- Panel Moderators: Jorge Hernandez, University of Havana, Center for the Study of the United States; and Philip Brenner, American University
Panel Introductions:
Dr. Julia Sweig, Cuba Specialist, Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Rosa Lopez, CECEU

This summary session covers the aftermath of the invasion and its impact on Cuba, on the United States and on U.S.-Cuban relations. Topics that can be addressed include renewed U.S. covert efforts to overthrow the Castro government, including Operations Mongoose and Autonomous; the impact of the Bay of Pigs on the Cuban Missile Crisis; the negotiations for the release of the Brigade and the secret dialogue - first between Fidel Castro with James Donovan and subsequently with Lisa Howard and William Attwood - toward improving relations; the rupture in the dialogue after the assassination in Dallas; and the impact in Cuba, the U.S. and on the Cuban-American community, and the lessons of the invasion for the relations between the two countries.

Saturday, March 24, 2001

Trip to the Bay of Pigs with Cuban officials for a historical tour of the battle site, including the Australia Plantation (Castro’s headquarters), and the two fronts at Playa Larga and Playa Giron.  A final press conference will be held at Giron Beach.

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