JUAN SOSSA INTERVIEW - Mark Antokas

08/05/04

On April 17th, 1961, thirteen hundred members of a covert C.I.A. supported Counter-Revolutionary Cuban force stormed the beaches of Cuba. It was the beginning of a short military action which fast became a foreign policy debacle for President john F. Kennedy. When the conflict abated, one hundred fourteen members of the 2506 Cuban brigade were dead and almost twelve hundred were Castro’s prisoners. Juan Sossa was one. Even though over 40 years have passed, the memory of the failed invasion lingers and still influences present day policies toward Castro’s Cuba. WMNF’s Mark Antokas had a chance to speak with Juan Sossa, a member of the 2506 Cuban Brigade.

Juan Sossa, a proud Cuban-American citizen generally puts in a 16 hour day with his family in his Cuban Black Bean Deli in New Port Richey. The 78 year old Sossa came to America after the Bay Of Pigs incident in 1961, later would fight with America during the Vietnam conflict an would earn a bronze star and legion of merit medals. But Sossa will never give up his Cuban identity. In researching a story on Cuban policy in the Bush administration, WMNF had an opportunity to speak with Sossa. Roll Tape:

Sossa says he was held prisoner until the Kennedy administration paid a ransom. Roll Tape:

The Bush Administration has, at Miami Cubans request, changed the law on visitation to Cuba by Cuban Americans just recently, a liberal policy which has been in effect since the Jimmy Carter years. This is Mark Antokas for WMNF radio news

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