HAVANA TIMES — Cuba kicked off a large military exercise on Tuesday known as “Bastion 2013,” a nationwide deployment in preparation for any foreign invasion.  Originally called for 2012 it was suspended after the country was hit by Hurricane “Sandy” in October of last year.

President/General Raul Castro officially the launched maneuvers, covering the whole island and to be held through Friday, reported dpa news.

“Over the next four days we will carry out strategic exercise Bastion 2013,” said the 82-year-old president in a speech broadcast on state television.

The exercises held since the 80s, were due to take place last year, but were postponed due to the ravages of hurricane “Sandy” in the east of the island. Eleven people were killed in the provinces of Santiago and Guantanamo after the hurricane, which damaged or destroyed more than 226,000 homes.

The maneuvers of “Bastion” include a massive military deployment that includes the population. Former President Fidel Castro defined the strategy as “a war of all the people”, designed especially for a possible confrontation with the United States.

Havana and Washington have a hostile relationship since the triumph of the 1959 revolution. The escalation reached a peak with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, in which Cuban exiles attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro with US support.

“Bastion” was held for the first time in 1980 after the arrival to the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who supported a tough policy against the Castro regime .

The Cuban military maneuvers were repeated in 1983, 1986, 2004 and 2009 . The current edition, is second with Raul Castro in power.

25 thoughts on “Cuba Begins Massive Military Exercise

  • Cuba holds a strategic position in reference to the Golf of Mexico. Cuba has militarily invaded 4 times. One by the British under Francis Drake, another by Spain during the Cuban war of independence (1995), and two more by the United States Marines, and last but not least, the invasion of Bay of Pigs in 1961. Given this, it is understandable of Cubans living in fear of military invasions. In any case, it is the duty of any country’s military to be prepare for that eventuality.

  • Former US allies Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin are gone. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    Unfortunately, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are far from gone.

    The US got their butts kicked in both countries and have beat a hasty retreat. Both countries remain as violent as ever with little prospect of any kind of peaceful normalcy even in the distant future.

    The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan. And Al Qaeda, absent from Iraq prior to the US invasion, is now a growing threat there — after the US, ahem… “set things right.”

    I guess, when the only thing in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  • And Kennedy decided at the last minute to change the location of the landing to a location they had not studied and to deny air cover, thus dooming the invasion from the start. It would have been better to have scrubbed the whole damn thing than to have sent those men to their certain deaths.

  • The Bay of Pigs invasion was carried out by a group of Cuban exiles, not US Marines. Look it up.

  • Saddam is gone and the Taliban are gone.
    Extremists still exist, but gradually these countries will sort themselves out.
    The US made the strategic mistake not to go all the way in the first gulf war. They set things right in the second.

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