Eduardo Zayas Bazán Loret de Mola

* 1935

  • "Two days passed since the court when suddenly Fidel Castro appeared in our prison corridor. There were just over a hundred prisoners. At two o'clock in the morning, he knocked, opened the door, and started to ask: 'How are you? Are they treating you well? How do you feel, do they give you enough food? ‘As if he was our best friend. He then made a two hours long speech there. One of the first things he told us was: 'I have good news for you. We will not execute you, we will not kill anyone of you. But you all will spend thirty years in jail unless the United States government pays a $ 62 million ransom for you. Because what you have done is despicable … ‘and so on. He said: 'It will be like this: It must be paid $ 500,000 for each of the top three soldiers. For the richer ones must be paid $ 100,000 for each as well. There were about 120 to 140 of us "riches". And the rest will cost $ 50,000 or $ 25,000 each. ' When hearing all that, no one thought he will be out of the prison in less than those thirty years. We believed the deal could never work out.

  • "They loaded us up on two buses and drove us back to Playa Girón. I'm convinced that they planned to execute us there. But the thing was, we were so many, we were about four or five hundred people. And someone had to tell Fidel Castro: 'We can't kill so many people.' Journalists from all over the world were already gathering, intended to take photos and so on. They even had planned to talk to us, prisoners. "

  • "I want to set the record straight. The fact that the Americans supported us, that they armed us... meant for us an undoubted guarantee of victory. I remember they pointed out more than once during the training: 'Some of you will never return.' But one never admits that the worst might indeed happen and that he could be the victim. We absolutely blindly trusted the Americans. We knew they had never lost a war. It was before the Vietnam war and right after World War II. So the victory of theirs was still fresh in our minds. We simply believed Americans were superhumans and superheroes who knew exactly how to win. We also thought that the FBI and CIA only had top-notch people. Namely, we were basically a group of young people without any military experience. Only a few of us have had any experience with fighting. I'd estimate a maximum of tenth had some kind of experience, a tenth of 1,500 people. Most of us were university students and villagers of humble beginnings.”

  • "It happened when they released my father. It was three days since he had willingly gone to the police. I was at our house, and that's when the chief of police came. He was also one of the leaders of the revolutionaries and had planned to search our house - probably looking for weapons or something alike. But we owned no weapons at all home, so he found nothing. It was the same policeman who, after three days, released my imprisoned father. He returned home, we were finally together again, and 24 hours later, Huber Matos suddenly appeared, holding a machine gun and knocking on our door. I opened it, and he asks: 'Where is Zayas-Bazán?' Subsequently arrested my dad and took him away. The chief of police had already been sitting in the car. He was detained as well because he released my father without the approval of Huber Matos. Huber then let my father sit in jail for a month and a half. "

  • "When Fidel Castro won, I felt strange. On the one hand, I was concern with what might happen to my grandfather Luis Lloret de Mola because he and General Batista were friends. I was also afraid of what could happen to my dad. Although he was not Batista's friend, he was within the coalition that supported him. On the other hand, I was content to see the success of the revolution. It occurred to me that Cuba needed some fundamental changes. For instance, an end to corruption, establishing true democracy and decent approach politicians, who would have other interests rather than making as money as possible."

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    Miami, USA, 11.06.2021

    délka: 02:06:24
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memoria de la Nación Cubana / Memory of the Cuban Nation
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I made my American dream come true

Zayas Bazán Loret
Zayas Bazán Loret
zdroj: Post Bellum

Eduardo Zayas-Bazán was born on November 17, 1935, in Camagüey located in central part of Cuba. His relatives have traditionally held high positions in the public domain for several generations. His great-grandfather became a senator at the beginning of the 20th century, the time when Cuba gained independence from Spain. His grandfather was also senator furthermore adviser of General Batista, whom he knew personally. And his father also maintained on the political track. At the age of 23, he became an MP and later a senator of the Liberal Party. Young Eduard‘s life was therefore divided between the capital Havana, where his father worked, and Camagüey, where the family had a large residence. He was quite naughty child, which his father decided to resolve by sending him to study at the Military Academy in Georgia in the United States. There he became a very succesful swimmer and subsequently received a scholarship offer to continue his studies at the university in the USA. However Eduardo yearned to follow in the politician footsteps of his ancestors. Therefore, he returned to Havana, and began studying law at the University of Havana then followed by the José Martí University. Unfortunatelly, Fidel Castro invalidated all university degrees obtained during the Revolution, Eduardo could no longer practice law. Hence worked for several months as a swimming instructor, and in September 1960 decided to leave Cuba. Meanwhile, the state authorities nationalized his father‘s farm. He joined the training to carry out the invasion of the Bay of Pigs immedietly after his arrival. His excellence in swimming got him on a post of frogman. During the fights his knee got seriously injured and three days later he was arrested. Then he spent almost a year in El Príncipe Prison. He was able to return to the United States through an exchange agreed between the Cuban and American governments. There he pursued an academic career and made it up to the position of Head of the Department of Languages at the University of East Tennessee, where he works till today as a respected professor. Moreover Eduardo has been a member of several Cuban exile organizations as well as language teaching expert groups and is a successful author of a Spanish textbook. Today he lives in Miami.