In racy journalistic style Sol Argüedas writes with passion of the invasion of the Bay of Pigs. She tells of being the only woman and one of the few Spanish-speaking foreign newspaper representatives to be invited by Castro’s Ministry of Communications to go to the combat zone. Proceeding to the battle front, the author witnessed some of the flotsam and jetsam of conflict: the dead, the wounded, prisoners, and weary milicianos. From them she extracted personal interest stories of bravery, of disillusionment, and of patriotism. The invaders’ previous training in the United States, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico is described, including speeches to the volunteers by President Ydígoras of Guatemala. Training maneuvers were led by Lithuanians and Hungarians. A parachutist, for example, experienced only one practice jump—off a barrel—before returning to native Cuban soil as a fighting man.
The book is replete with messages of support for Castro from “the Chinese people,” from Uruguayan labor unions, and reports of demonstrations of sympathy in Vietnam, France, and Czechoslovakia. The author is quick to defend against any criticism of the revolutionary regime, as when she writes: “the revolutionary government prevented a blood bath in Cuba by punishing the criminals and not permitting the people to take the law into their own hands.” She declares that she heard “hundreds” of sincere Catholics pray for the health and long life of Castro and demanding that falangist priests be sent to the wall! In its conclusion this polemic claims a Cuban victory over imperialism, hunger, illiteracy, clericalism, and tyranny. The theme—Cuba is not an island—is that in each country Cuba’s victory will not fail to have its influence.