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Arthur Schlesinger Jr.  Special assistant to President John F. Kennedy with oversight of, among other issues, all Latin American initiatives, including the Alliance for Progress.  During the Bay of Pigs, he served as liaison with Cuban exile leadership.  Alone among JFK’s top advisers, he opposed the invasion.  Also one of the most eminent U.S. historians, having won the Pulitzer Prize twice and having written best-selling biographies of both John Kennedy (A Thousand Days, 1965) and Robert Kennedy (Robert Kennedy and His Times, 1978).

Richard Goodwin.  Special assistant to candidate, and then President Kennedy. He became Cuban affairs coordinator in the summer of 1961; and met with Che Guevara in Montevideo in August 1961.  He was deputy assistant secretary for Inter-American affairs at the State Department during the Kennedy administration, and later a special assistant to President Johnson.  He was key actor in the Alliance for Progress. He is the author of The American Condition, and Remembering America: A Voice from the Sixties

John Nolan. Partner at the Washington law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. Marine Corps veteran and former Supreme Court clerk who was active in the Kennedy presidential campaign of 1960.  Enlisted by RFK aides in late 1962 to serve as a deputy to James Donovan in negotiating the release of the Brigade 2506 prisoners, and later the American prisoners in Cuba.  In April 1963, he and Donovan were given a guided tour of the Giron battle site by Fidel Castro. He subsequently served as chief of staff to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1963-64.

Robert Reynolds. CIA chief of Miami base (the largest CIA station in the world) from September 1960 to October 1961, and from March-September 1960 served as deputy to Jacob Esterline, the CIA’s task force chief.  Began his CIA Latin America career in 1949 and served in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil.  From 1957 to March 1960 was the CIA’s Caribbean desk officer monitoring the Cuban revolution.  Retired from CIA and the Foreign Service in 1968.  Subsequent career as an energy consultant.

Samuel Halpern. CIA executive assistant (chief of staff) for Operation Mongoose.  Trained as a historian at the City College of New York and a World War II veteran of CIA’s predecessor agency, the OSS, he spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, specializing in covert operations.  He was working in Asia when he was called back to Washington in the wake of the Bay of Pigs to help organize Mongoose, which was led by Gen. Edward Lansdale of the Defense Department and William K. Harvey of the CIA.  He subsequent served as executive assistant to CIA’s director of covert operations, retiring in the early 1970s.

Wayne Smith. U.S. Embassy political officer in Havana from 1958 until the closing of the Embassy in January 1961.  After the Bay of Pigs, he became assistant to the State Department’s assistant secretary for Latin America Adolf Berle, and subsequently rose to the position of director for Cuban affairs in the State Department.  In 1978-80 served as the chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.  Now a professor at the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Affairs and a fellow of the Center for International Policy, he is the author of The Closest of Enemies (1987) on U.S.-Cuban relations.

Alfredo Duran. An early enlistee in Brigade 2506, he received guerrilla training for the infiltration plan and later, after the plan changed, training as an infantryman. After the invasion failed, he spent 30 days in the swamp, attempting to escape but was eventually captured. He is a practicing lawyer in Miami, a past president Brigade 2506 Veterans' Association, and former chair Florida Democratic Party.

Luis Tornes. Recruited into Brigade 2506 in New York City in December 1960.  Served as an infantryman in Battalion 3 during the invasion.  Taken prisoner and returned to the U.S. in December 1962.  Underwent U.S. military training at Fort Jackson in 1963 as part of a special unit for what he believed would be a future invasion.  Participated in clandestine activities directed against Cuba in the mid-1960s.  Currently the owner and publisher of the Spanish-language newspaper, the Miami Post.

Roberto Carballo, is a Brigade 2506 veteran.  He enlisted in January 1960, and was assigned to the 3rd company of the 4th battalion.  After returning with the other brigade members to the U.S., he studied political science in Puerto Rico.  In the early 1970s he was an executive officer on Team B of the Plan Torriente conducting operations against the government in Cuba.  He was President of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association between 1976 and 1978, and a founding member of the Cuban Committee for Democracy.  He currently lives in Mexico where he is a businessman and hotel owner.


Jorge Dominguez is Clarence Dillon professor of international affairs and Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  He is the author of numerous books and articles on Cuba and U.S. policy, including the major textbook, Cuba, and The Future of InterAmerican Relations.

James Blight, professor of international relations at Brown University’s Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies.  He was the organizer of the 1992 Havana conference on the Crisis de Octubre, and is the author of numerous books and articles including, Cuba On the Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse.

Julia Sweig, is a Cuba specialist at the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She is the author of the forthcoming book, The Cuban Insurrection Declassified

Piero Gleijeses, is professor of U.S. foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.  He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the article “Ships in the Night: The CIA, the White House, and the Bay of Pigs,” and the forthcoming Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa, 1959-1976

Peter Kornbluh directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, and is the author of Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Bay of Pigs. He serves as the U.S. coordinator for the North American delegation to the “Giron: 40 Anos Despues” conference.

James G. Hershberg is associate professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University.  He is the former director of the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., and has done extensive research on documents relating to Cuba in the Canadian, Brazilian, and British foreign archives.

Philip Brenner is professor of international politics at the American University.  He has written numerous books, and articles on various aspects of U.S.-Cuban relations, including The Cuba Reader: the Making of a Revolutionary Society.

Max Azicri, is a professor at Edinboro State University specializing in Cuba.  A Cuban-American, he briefly served as a diplomatic envoy to Uruguay for the Brigade in 1961.  He is the author of most recently of Cuba Today and Tomorrow: Reinventing Socialism.

Saul Landau is a professor at California State Polytechnic University. He is an emmy-award winning film maker, whose documentaries include “Fidel.”  He is the author of numerous books and articles on Cuba, Chile, and U.S. foreign policy, including Assassination on Embassy Row (with John Dinges).

Thomas S. Blanton is executive director of the National Security Archive, the U.S. co-sponsor of the Giron conference.  He is the author of White House E-Mail, among other books and articles.

William LeoGrande, is a professor and former dean at American University.  He has written extensively about U.S. policy toward Central America and Cuba.  He is the author, most recently of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992

P. Terrence Hopmann is professor of political science and director of the program on global security at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and was a participant in the 1996 Musgrove conference on the Bay of Pigs.

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