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Guatemala apologises for Bay of Pigs

Latest update : 2009-02-18

Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom has apologised to Cuba for his country's involvement in the botched 1961 invasion attempt on Cuba, known as the Bay of Pigs, which was planned and financed by the USA with forces trained in Guatemala.

AFP - Guatemala has apologized for allowing the United States to use the country as a platform for the bungled Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.
Speaking during a visit to Havana, President Alvaro Colom earned rapturous applause while saying sorry for the government's cooperation with Washington in the failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro.
"I want to apologize to Cuba for having lent our country, our territory, for the preparation of an invasion of Cuba. It was not us, but it was our land," he said.
On April 17, 1961, some 1,400 Cuban exiles launched a botched invasion of Cuba conceived and financed by Washington.
The guerilla force had trained in Guatemala -- then in the early throes of a brutal civil war, which would eventually kill hundreds of thousands before it ended in 1996.
The war pitted communist, largely indigenous rebels, against the US-backed military dictatorship.
Colom's comments came during a visit aimed at boosting trade ties between Cuba and Guatemala.
He is the fifth Latin American leader to visit the communist island-state so far this year.

Date created : 2009-02-18