Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
As It Happened -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) World News Australia at 9:30 - Coming up in SBS

will undergo safety inspections All bridges in the United States over the Mississippi River. following the collapse Five people are confirmed dead remain missing. and at least eight others have been slightly injured Five Australian soldiers in southern Iraq rolled down a levee bank after their light armoured vehicle during a patrol. has died from injuries sustained Mohamed Haneef's second cousin on Glasgow Airport. in the botched attack and 20 million others displaced More than 170 people have died in India and Bangladesh. in severe flooding a vast area of the Arctic Ocean, And Russia has claimed in the oil and resource rich region. prompting fears of a land grab of the day's news at 9:30. That and the rest See you then. Fidel Castro entered Havana, Just 30 days ago, to be greeted by cheering mobs heroes in Cuba's history. as one of the greatest Fidel Castro, at the age of 32, a great deal of power you now have in your hands and a great deal of responsibility. frightened by this? Aren't you a little Well, really, not frightened because I have self-confidence worry, of course. but a little worried. Not frightened, Yes. CHURCH BELLS CLANG, CHEERING that overthrew a hated dictator. NARRATOR: He had led a revolution And on January 6, 1959, into Havana, the day of his triumphant march of an entire nation. he embodied the hopes revolutionary hero. WOMAN: We have this romantic very charismatic. He's big, he's manly, MAN: He is endlessly complex. of an inflexible will. He is a man of enormous intellect, the very first moments His revolution has from been a one-man show. to accomplish heroic feats He would rouse his people the promise of a brilliant future... in the name of justice and the farthest reaches of the world... ..send his soldiers to with dreams of greatness. ..inspiring many into exile But he would drive 2 million Cubans dared challenge his rule. and silence those who that Castro exercised WOMAN: The extraordinary leadership

brought before firing squads, went along with thousands of people political prisoners. 40,000, or maybe even 50,000 Fidel Castro has ruled Cuba. For more than four decades, He survived a US-backed invasion, countless assassination plots, an economic embargo, the Soviet Union. even the collapse of his benefactor, MAN: The epic of the Castro era the greatest stories is probably one of of the last 100 years. that a little dinky country What are the odds around the world would project its forces and drive the United States crazy? Impossible. How could it happen? him 'El Guajiro' - 'the Hick' - His classmates called revisit the Cuba of his childhood. and he liked nothing more than to TRADITIONAL CUBAN SONG PLAYS at Las Manacas, Fidel Castro came of age in Cuba's remote north-east. a sprawling sugar plantation

a former Spanish soldier, His father, Angel, at the turn of the century had come to Cuba Spanish-American War, to fight in the growing sugar cane and made his fortune United Fruit Company, for the US-owned force in the region at the time. the dominant economic and social There is definitely a lot of history of Fidel Castro's. encoded in that childhood He was the outsider. He was born illegitimately. married to a schoolteacher. His father had been maid, who was Fidel's mother. Then he took up with the family And they were only married to Catholic schools. when the children were sent never directly. Fidel very seldom spoke about this, a poor but ambitious country girl. Fidel's mother, Lina Ruz, was an Annie Oakley type, Once described as

to call her family to dinner. she was known to fire a gun GUNSHOT ECHOES how to read and write, Though Lina barely knew get the best education she insisted their children Angel's money could buy. Raul and Ramon, Fidel and his two brothers, in Santiago de Cuba. were sent to a boarding school too disruptive and were expelled. But the unruly Castro boys were his father and mother, MAN: Fidel told "I want to go back to that school." "No, you can't go back. But his parents said, too rough, you were too violent "You and your brothers were just want you there anymore." "and the priests don't he told his mother, And what he did was back to that school, "If you do not send me

"I will burn this house down." this ferocious son of hers, And his mother knew that this boy, truly meant what he said. Fidel went to Havana In October 1941, at age 15, to attend El Colegio de Belen, and most exclusive school. Cuba's best of Spanish Jesuit priests, It was at Belen, under the guidance to form his world view. that the young Castro began Fidel impressed his teachers photographic memory with his athletic abilities, and enormous tenacity. as someone who would, They singled him out

with brilliant pages." "No doubt, fill the book of his life

University of Havana in 1945, When he entered the he set out to fulfil that promise. CHEERING, APPLAUSE (Crowd chants) a hotbed of political activity The University of Havana had been since the 1930s, against dictator Gerardo Machado. when students led a revolt in Cuban political history. MAN: 1930s is a violent period Social and political struggles of that decade continue through a good part were to be politically effective, and the idea was that if you to be ready to wield a gun. at some point you needed SCATTERED GUNFIRE at the university... When Fidel arrives needed guns as well... revolutionary goals, not for noble and your friends. but just to protect yourself And there are gangs. Fidel's generation had a terrible sense of frustration. Cuba was supposed to be one of the three wealthiest countries in the hemisphere with the United States and Argentina and yet they couldn't put themselves together politically. It was one tragedy after the other - the war of 1898, the Americans' intervention, the Platt Amendment, which gave the United States virtually power over anything in Cuba. They saw leader after leader either be corrupt, killed, replaced by the United States, fail, fail, fail. LATTELL: While he was a student at the University of Havana, Fidel came under the influence of nationalist Cuban professors,

began to study Cuban history very seriously. He concluded that Cuba had not been in control of its own history. And he blamed the United States. Fidel jumped into the fray. He helped organise strikes and demonstrations, ran for student president... ..joined a gang. "He was a combination of genius and juvenile delinquent," one fellow student recalled. "He would show signs of brilliance and then behave like a hoodlum." He was implicated in the fatal shooting of a rival student leader, but charges were never filed. He was identified by a witness in connection with the murder of a university police sergeant, but the witness recanted his testimony. WOMAN: There is no common man. WOMAN: There is no common woman. WOMAN: Different. That's why at Ford we've created a range of German-engineered urban cars... To suit different needs... Different desires... Different aspirations... Mirta Diaz-Balart was 19 years old when she fell in love with Fidel Castro. She was a philosophy student at the University of Havana and a member of a prominent Cuban family. They were married on October 12, 1948, and went on an extended honeymoon to New York. "For the first time I tried T-bone steak, "smoked salmon and other things "that a young man with a big appetite enjoyed a lot,"

Fidel later recalled. With his father's money, he bought a white Lincoln Continental, took an apartment in the Bronx and tried to teach himself English by learning 200 words a day. Back from their honeymoon, Fidel and Mirta settled in Havana, where he set up a small law practice. Mirta gave birth to a son, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart - Fidelito. But Castro was seldom home and there was never enough money. WOMAN: Castro came in one morning and he didn't realise until later that day that all his furniture in the living room, including Fidelito's playpen, all is gone. Because they've been repossessed. He didn't pay the bills. This is a man who doesn't have a sense of feeling, empathy, for the things that ordinary human beings need to live their lives more or less normally. Politics was Fidel's all-consuming passion. As Cubans looked forward to free elections in 1952, the fourth to be held since a new constitution went into effect in 1940, the young lawyer seized the moment. He campaigned for a congressional seat

as a member of the Orthodoxo Party, calling for responsible government and an end to corruption. As election day approached, Fidel Castro had a real chance for victory. Then, on March 10, General Fulgencio Batista led a military coup d'etat,

shattering Cuban democracy and Fidel's political aspirations. On July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro, hoping to incite a rebellion, led 129 men and two women in a daring assault against the Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba. GUNFIRE, EXPLOSIONS

"Even if it fails," Fidel had said, "it would be heroic and have symbolic value." It was a massacre. Eight attackers were killed, 12 wounded, more than 60 were taken prisoner, tortured and then executed. Fidel Castro was captured seven days later, his life spared through the intervention of Santiago's Catholic Archbishop. In the days following the assault, Fulgencio Batista called for 10 men to be killed

for every one of his soldiers dead at Moncada. Published photographs of the mutilated bodies of Cuba's youth repulsed the nation and made a hero of the man who had led the daring assault. The repression by the Batista forces was so harsh. There were so many young men - mostly young men - who were killed and who were savagely repressed that it was a wake-up call for the Cuban people. GAVEL BANGS At his trial, Fidel Castro held the attention of all Cuba. Arguing in his own defence, the young lawyer spoke the words that would become legend. "Condemn me," he said.

"It does not matter - history will absolve me." Fidel and his younger brother Raul were sentenced to 15 years and sent to the Isle of Pines prison. (Reads) "November 7, 1953. "Dear Naty, "If you have suffered because of me, "remember that I would gladly give my life "for your honour and your happiness." Fidel Castro had fallen in love with Natalia Revuelta, the beautiful wife of a prominent Cuban doctor. Fidel asked for cigars, his favourite foods. Mostly he asked for books. He read the works of Cuba's patriot Jose Marti, Dostoevski, Rousseau, Marx and Lenin. "What a terrific school this prison is," he wrote Naty. "Here I can shape my view of the world "and perfect the meaning of my life." From his prison cell, Castro reworked his defence speech, 'History Will Absolve Me', which his wife, Mirta, smuggled out of prison a few pages at a time. It called for the violent overthrow of the Batista Government, democratic elections and addressed the inequalities of Cuban society. 20,000 copies were clandestinely distributed. Cuban political culture in the 20th century, up until 1959,

was a centre-left political culture, and the text 'History Will Absolve Me' was pretty much a standard fare - economic reform, social reform. He is not on the fringe at all. Castro had been in prison one year when his learned that his wife Mirta had filed for divorce and taken custody of their son after discovering his affair with Naty Revuelta. Fidel was bitter. "One day I'll be out of here and I'll get my son back," he wrote one of his sisters, "even if the earth should be destroyed in the process." In April 1955, after 22 months of confinement, Fidel and Raul were released from prison under a general amnesty declared by Batista. Castro was 29, a recognised political figure and the head of an organisation he called the '26th of July Movement' in memory of the Moncada assault. He soon left Cuba for Mexico to resume his revolution.

On November 25, 1956, a 65-foot yacht approached the coast of south-east Cuba. Aboard the 'Granma' were Fidel Castro and 81 expeditionaries returning from Mexico to wage war against Batista. But the 'Granma' had been spotted. And by the time Castro's men landed, Batista's army was waiting. GUNSHOTS RING OUT Fidel Castro was reported dead. But he had taken cover in a sugar cane field. Three days later, unharmed, he began walking towards the mountains. 18 men vanished into the forbidding Sierra Maestra mountain range, including Fidel, Raul and an Argentinean doctor named Ernesto Guevara - known as Che. Three months later, the rebels reappeared on the front page of the 'New York Times'. In a series of three articles, Herbert Matthews, a seasoned war correspondent, launched the legend of Fidel Castro. Matthews wrote, "Here is quite a man - "a powerful six-footer, "olive skinned with a scraggly beard. "He has strong ideas of liberty, democracy and social justice." MAN: This is the Sierra Maestra. 200 miles of jungle... Following in Matthews's footsteps, a CBS documentary crew made its own pilgrimage. These are the jungle fighters, the rebels of Sierra Maestra. This is their story. I am going to tell you what happened. Batista does not want to admit that he is incapable of defeating us. He hopes to obtain by liar... ..that which he cannot get by force of arms. Sometimes he says that I am dead. And other times he says that there is nobody in Sierra Maestra. But he won't let anyone to come here to Sierra Maestra. And when the soldiers are killed in battle, he says that they died in accidents. There have been a great deal of accidents here in Sierra Maestra last month. (Fires bullet) Fidel played up his war for an American television audience. But a much larger war was being waged in Cuba's cities. GUNSHOTS RING OUT

In Havana, the Student Revolutionary Directorate

stormed the presidential palace in March, 1957 in a desperate attempt to assassinate Batista. Their leader, Jose Antonio Echeverria, was gunned down. In Santiago, Cuba's second-largest city, the 26th of July Movement underground waged a fierce struggle and bore the brunt of the repression. Their leader, Frank Pais, was ambushed in July. Cubans from all walks of life - rich and poor, businessmen and workers, angry students and grieving mothers - filled the streets of Santiago in a sombre demonstration.

MAN: Batista does a number of things that gradually expand the revolutionary coalition until it includes almost everyone. He's corrupt. He's very repressive. You reach a point in the late 1950s where virtually everyone is opposed to the regime.

High up in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra, Fidel Castro was fast becoming the symbol of resistance against Batista. It was there, among the peasants,

that the romance of Castro's guerrilla war was born. Years later, Celia Sanchez, Fidel's friend and confidante, wistfully recalled, "Those were the best times. "We'll never be so happy again. Never." Members of the urban underground and opposition party leaders climbed the mountains to meet with Fidel and work out the details of a future coalition government.

The handful of guerrillas who had survived the disaster of the 'Granma' grew into a rebel army. Fidel commanded with an iron hand. DOMINGUEZ: People began to notice that Fidel demanded obedience, that he was not very likely to consult, that he wanted to take decisions on his own and wanted others simply to comply. In the summer of 1958, Batista decided once and for all to get rid of Fidel Castro, deploying 10,000 soldiers against 300 rebels. Within 30 days, they had encircled Fidel's forces,

but they were now deep in rebel territory and vulnerable to attack. Fidel's strategy was simple. "Like ping-pong," he said, "you hit them where they least expect it." GUNFIRE Earlier that spring, the United States, embarrassed by Batista's brutality, had suspended military assistance to his regime. MAN: It created the perception that one, the Cuban army could no longer

effectively fight the guerrilla movement up in the hills and secondly, from a political perspective, it sent the signal that the United States no longer supported Batista. But Castro, who since his days at the university had resented the American presence in Cuba,

found the gesture to be meaningless. "Once this struggle is finished, "I'll begin the real struggle of my life,"

he wrote Celia in June of 1958, "the fight I will wage against the United States. "I believe that is my true destiny." In August, rebel forces left the mountains and fanned across Cuba.

Fidel ordered Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara to move west.

Huber Matos took the surrender of Santiago de Cuba. Che Guevara blew up an armoured train in Santa Clara and took the city.

Batista's demoralised army crumbled. December 31, 1958. Cubans rang in an uncertain new year. At dawn, Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba with 180 of his closest friends,

having amassed a fortune of over $100 million. On January 2, 1959,

Fidel Castro and his rebel army set out from Santiago de Cuba toward Havana,

a 600-mile triumphant march along Cuba's central highway. Fidel spoke at every stop. Broadcast live on radio and television,

his words reached every corner of the island. There is the feeling that something genuinely new and different will take place. It's new people. They dance and they joke and they flirt with girls. It is a sense of embeddedness in Cuban society. PEREZ-STABLE: The first thing that people hoped for was honest, democratic government.

And in my family, my uncles, my grandfather,

everyone went out once the revolution came to power to pay their back taxes because now there was going to be an honest government in Cuba. Dr Castro, it is reported that you feel that your role in the revolution is about over and that you plan, perhaps, to return to civilian life. Is this true? And if not, how soon do you think it'll be before you can do that? My obligation with the people. What I have to do now and in the future is that what be good for my country.

And if for my country this necessary, that I renounce to any position, I would gladly renounce to any position because sincerely, I don't ambition power, money, nothing, only to serve my country. Good! APPLAUSE In keeping with the 'Manifesto of the Sierra Maestra', an interim government that included all opposition groups assumed power. Elections were scheduled to take place in 18 months. But real power resided with Fidel - at his old headquarters in the Sierra,

at Celia Sanchez's apartment in El Vedado, at a beach house in Cojimar where all major decision were made. One of the first acts of the revolutionary government was retribution. In less than three months, more than 500 Batistianos were publicly tried and executed. GUNFIRE When the international press called it a bloodbath,

Castro, incensed, made his case on television. REPORTER: The purpose of today's gathering is to show the whole world that all Cubans are united in the rebel victory and that all of them support the executions. TRANSLATION: When the young people would appear murdered in the streets with a shot through their head... ..when the yards of the barracks would be full of cadavers, when our women were violated... ..when the children were murdered... ..when the police force would go into the embassy to assassinate our people... against Cuba. made a campaign 'Paredon' - 'to the wall' - An ominous new chant, was heard throughout Cuba. GUNFIRE became official on February 16, Fidel Castro's role as Cuba's leader

prime minister. the day he was appointed Pennsylvania Station REPORTER: New York's rarely has seen anything like it. of a Castro could produce it. Only the magnetism For this is the spontaneous... in New York in April 1959, Prime Minister Fidel Castro arrived part of a 15-day goodwill tour. He was young and idealistic, accusations of a bloodbath. his appeal undiminished by the recent to touch him. ..are eager to see him, just a few words to New Yorkers Fidel, will you say for the first time? who have seen you Well, I'm very glad to be here again because I fulfilled my promise the victorious revolution. of coming after HOLLERING MAN: He is a movie star. The James Dean of international politics. He is viewed as a saviour, leading a revolution to improve people's lives and to show that the people of Latin America

can be in control of their own destiny. that he might be a communist. However, there was some concern he is asked... And so, on 'Meet the Press', Senator Smathers of Florida communists in your government. says that you have many Is that so? it ought to be true? And because Senator Smathers said, I don't think that. "Well, what about your brother?" And then he's asked,

published here this week An American magazine is a communist says that your brother and his wife also. Do you believe that?

better than myself, How the US is going to know that and sister-in-law? that is my brother they are not communists. I can tell that

that this was not true. NAFTALI: He denied, and he knew in his inner circle had played. He denied the role that communists ready to offer Castro economic aid. In Washington, US officials stood any economic assistance? REPORTER: Did you ask for What happen is that here... you in the United States are accustomed to see governments coming for money. No, I came for good relations, for good understanding, for good economical relations. Vice-President Richard Nixon urged the Cuban Prime Minister to hold elections as soon as possible. Castro informed him. "The people do not want elections," they produced bad government." "In the past, he's probably not a communist Nixon's conclusion was that the phrase was roughly, but he is going to be... in this hemisphere, "a man to be reckoned with "and we have to be very careful." began on May 17, 1959, Cuba's revolutionary transformation of the Agrarian Reform Law. with the proclamation the Castro family farm, 'Las Manacas', to be confiscated. was the first land-holding and would never forgive her son. Fidel's mother, Lina, was furious to land they had once worked. 200,000 peasants received title the anniversary of Moncada, On July 26, to celebrate. they descended on Havana of 1 million gathered on that day, As Castro surveyed the crowd to ancient Athens... he compared Cuba's new government revolutionary government ..except better, because Cuba's classes or the oligarchy. was not for the privileged "This," he said, "is true democracy." that the Cuban communists Comandante Huber Matos had noted new force in the revolution. were an unexpected and influential your own work," Matos wrote, "Fidel, you are destroying resigning his command. disloyal, ungrateful, a traitor Fidel called the rebel comandante and had him arrested. a defining moment, This is a critical moment, "This is the direction we're going. in which the radicals say,

with us cannot say no." "And even people who fought

a foregone conclusion. Matos's fate seemed to 20 years in prison. Matos was sentenced resigned in protest Many moderates in Castro's government or were dismissed. Some left for the United States. beginning to take shape in Cuba. Others joined an opposition movement You'll be sweet as a nut Great Read Guide', with the '2007 Books Alive any of the 50 titles in it, 'cause if you buy you get a free copy of my new book, 'The Ballad of Les Darcy'. 'Australian Women's Weekly' Free in this month's or at leading booksellers. of the revolution, By the first anniversary firmly in hand. Fidel Castro had the reins of power His brother Raul was Minister of Defence. His friend Che Guevara headed the Central Bank. An obscure lawyer, Osvaldo Dorticos, was President. For most Cubans, it had been a good year. The price of public services dropped. New public works projects were begun. Rents were slashed in half. be sent into the mountains And students would soon to teach peasants to read and write. GEYER: What I found so fascinating up here on the podium, was there was Fidel waving his arms. making all these strange gestures,

are 200,000-plus Cubans, There...out there for seven, eight hours, them and enchanting them... while Fidel is up here directing

..weaving a spell over them. important accomplishment Perhaps his most where they were, was understanding the Cuban people,

to do great things. and challenging them a majority of them responded. And the Cuban people, at that time, their faith, and their judgment They turned their goodwill, over to Fidel Castro. political capital... And that was a huge that allowed him ..a political capital to, in fact, centralise power. Soviet deputy premier Anastas Mikoyan arrived in Havana on February 3, 1960, to inaugurate a technological and cultural exhibit. For three days, he was feted in tropical splendour. For the Soviets, it was a foray into a world filled with opportunity. For Americans, it was the beginning of a Cold War nightmare. MAN: Our fear was twofold. somehow use Cuba in such a way Number one, that the Soviets might as to threaten US security. Number two, that Castro's revolution in Latin America. would strengthen the Soviet hand Cuba, 90 miles away from Florida, for the Soviets. is an aircraft carrier they've never had before. It is something that they can project power. It is a place from which

was the offshore base That island of Cuba had always wanted to have that the Soviet Union next to the United States.

MAN ON TV: Crisis in Cuba. scattered over the city Anti-Castro leaflets are based in the United States by a plane by Castro's former air force chief. and reportedly flown much of the blame for the rising... The United States gets For some time now,

and Cuba had deteriorated, relations between the United States as Castro fanned the flames of Cuban nationalism, playing up a history of American domination.

BLIGHT: The American Government would send in its ambassador, Philip Bonsal, to say, "Look, we understand. "The American enterprises are over-represented here - companies, the cement companies, "the drug companies, the oil "Bell Telephone.

"Let's talk about this." Instead of talking, and make a four- or five-hour speech Fidel Castro would go out condemning American imperialism into the square and bringing a million people and sending them off really rabid with anti-American fervour. DOMINGUEZ: At some point in February, March of 1959, Fidel Castro had come to the decision that there could not be a revolution in Cuba, that he could not build the Cuba that he wanted,

unless he extirpated the United States from Cuba. And at that point, there was very little the US Government could do to shake that conviction. At the end of Mikoyan's visit Castro signed an agreement with the Soviet Union that would seal the fate of Cuba-US relations. The Soviets would provide oil in exchange for Cuban sugar. This was a time when most Latin American countries had no relationship whatsoever with the Soviet Union. And to forge such a relationship was seen by Washington as deserting the United States in the Cold War. Our interpretation was that Castro had made his decision - he was going to side with the Soviet Union - and therefore we lost interest in negotiations. And in March of 1960, President Eisenhower signed the finding

which authorised the CIA to begin actions to get rid of the Castro regime. In June, the first major shipment of Soviet crude oil arrived. Castro requested that American oil companies in Cuba refine 1 million barrels of the Soviet crude. They refused. On June 29, the Cuban Government nationalised the oil companies. Four days later, the US Government threatened to cut back on Cuban sugar imports. Castro authorised the expropriation of all US property. That September, Castro lashed out at the US before the United Nations...

..and flaunted his new friendship

with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. LOW-LEVEL CONVERSATION CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS The following month,

the Eisenhower Administration imposed a trade embargo against Cuba. There is a limit to what the United States in self-respect can endure. That limit has now been reached. On January 3, 1961, the United States broke relations with Cuba. ..that in the not-too-distant future it will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again... The departure of Cubans to the United States, which began shortly after the revolution, turned into an exodus. MAN: Batista people were the first to arrive here.

Then political figures started arriving and finally, the people whose property were being threatened or confiscated. (People chant) Cuban exiles organised themselves into an anti-Castro movement... close contact with the opposition within Cuba. PEREZ-STABLE: The overwhelming majority of the people who opposed Castro in 1959, 1960, 1961 had opposed Batista

and so they were... ..they felt doubly aggrieved. They had fought for a free, democratic Cuba and what they got was an emerging dictatorship, the elimination of most private property and a menacing alliance with the Soviet Union. An urban underground as powerful as the resistance against Batista now fought against Castro. Almost nightly, stores were bombed... ..sugar cane fields burned, factories sabotaged. And in the Escambray Mountains, in the centre of Cuba, an insurrection had taken hold. PEREZ-STABLE: This was a largely, although not exclusively, peasant rebellion against the Cuban revolution. The Cuban Government, in the '60s, had mobilised four times between 50,000 and 100,000 'milicianos' to fight the rebels, to clean, to sweep the Escambray. The area became so dangerous for the government that they forcibly transferred thousands of peasant families out of the Escambray and relocated them in different parts of Cuba. While the internal resistance fought the Cuban Government, the CIA trained an army of exiles in Guatemala for an invasion of Cuba. DURAN: When I went and volunteered to be part of what ultimately turned out to be the Bay of Pigs invasion,

I really thought that what we were going to do was go and train as guerrilla and go and train as underground individuals who would organise a massive uprising in Cuba. The concept of the invasion, I think, caught by surprise most of the people who were in the Bay of Pigs. AEROPLANE ENGINE DRONES President John F. Kennedy launched the US-backed invasion of Cuba

on April 15, 1961, when he authorised B-26 planes to bomb Cuba's major airports, destroying most, but not all, of Castro's air force. (All clap rhythmically)

The next day, Fidel Castro declared, for the first time, that his revolution was socialist. Immediately, he ordered the arrest of at least 20,000 Cubans identified as opponents to the regime. For the next several hours, he anxiously awaited news.

At dawn on April 17, 1,400 Cuban exiles landed at Bay of Pigs, on the Zapata Swamp, a site chosen at the last minute. Fidel personally took over the island's defence. GUNFIRE Surrounded by the Cuban Army,

pounded from the ground and from the air, the exiles stood no chance. 72 hours later, they surrendered. The Bay of Pigs invasion so closely associates opposition to the revolution with the United States that Castro is able to wrap himself in the Cuban flag and declares any kind of opposition to the revolution as treason. And in most countries, treason is punishable by death. (People shout) That was a very dramatic turning point, a very decisive moment. Castro's credibility, his strength in Cuba and throughout Latin America was enormously enhanced. His revolution, at that moment, was more consolidated than it had ever been before. He had done what no Latin American leader before him had ever done, and that was to defeat a really significant challenge mounted by the United States. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre Captions copyright SBS 2007 You'll be sweet as a nut with the '2007 Books Alive Great Read Guide', 'cause if you buy any of the 50 titles in it,

you get a free copy of my new book, 'The Ballad of Les Darcy'. Free in this month's 'Australian Women's Weekly' or at leading booksellers. This program is captioned live. A second frustrating day of searching ahead

around a collapsed bridge in the murky Mississippi waters. As America ponders just how creaky its infrastructure has become - and the cost of fixing it. Another front opens in the new Cold War as Russia plants a flag under the Arctic. And Germany tempting tourists into cells formerly occupied by prisoners of war. Good evening. Anton Enus with SBS World News Australia. Rescuers in the American city of Minneapolis have resumed the search for people still missing after a major bridge collapsed yesterday, killing at least five people. Divers have had a frustrating time searching in the murky, swirling waters of the Mississippi River. They've only recovered one body since the bridge came down. It's believed that at least eight people are still missing. Rescue teams have used first light to resume probing the remains of the 40-year-old structure which had carried up to 140,000 cars each day. For the relatives of the missing, the pictures were catastrophic and the message to them was blunt. We're concerned about the structural stability of the bridge still, the pieces that remain off the ground, so we're going to be very careful to use the experts to make sure our rescue workers are safe. The focus is on safety because the section of the bridge