Bay of Pigs Invasion

The Bay of Pigs invasion was the failed landing operation in April 1961 on the southwestern coast of Cuba by Cuban exiles opposed to Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution. The aborted invasion of the island, covertly financed and directed by the U. S. government impacted the relations between Cuba, the United States, the Soviet Union near the height of the Cold War. A Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored rebel group, Brigade 2506, attempted the invasion on April 17 1961 that lasted just three days. Brigade 2506 was a counter-revolutionary military group made up of Cuban exiles who had travelled to the United States after Castro's takeover, but included some US military personnel. Trained and funded by the CIA, Brigade 2506 fronted the armed wing of the Democratic Revolutionary Front and intended to overthrow the communist government of Fidel Castro. Launched from Guatemala and Nicaragua, the invading force was defeated within three days by the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, under the direct command of Castro.

The coup of 1952 led by General Fulgencio Batista, an ally of the United States, against President Carlos Prio, forced him to take exile in Miami. Prio's exile was the reason for the 26th July Movement led by Castro; the movement, which did not succeed until completion of the Cuban Revolution, severed the country's strong links with the US after nationalizing American industrial assets along with other American owned businesses. It was after the Cuban Revolution that Castro forged strong economic links with the Soviet Union, against which the United States engaged in the Cold War. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was concerned at the direction Castro's government was taking, in March 1960 he allocated $13.1 million to the CIA to plan Castro's overthrow. The CIA proceeded to organize the operation with the aid of various Cuban counter-revolutionary forces, training Brigade 2506 in Guatemala. Over 1,400 paramilitaries, divided into five infantry battalions and one paratrooper battalion, assembled in Guatemala before setting out for Cuba by boat on 13 April 1961.

Two days on 15 April, eight CIA-supplied B-26 bombers attacked Cuban airfields and returned to the US. On the night of 16 April, the main invasion landed at a beach named Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs, it overwhelmed a local revolutionary militia. The Cuban Army's counter-offensive was led by José Ramón Fernández before Castro decided to take personal control of the operation; as the US involvement became apparent to the world, with the military initiative turning against the invasion, President John F. Kennedy decided against providing further air cover; as a result, the operation only had half the forces. The original plan devised during Eisenhower's presidency had required naval support. On 20 April, the invaders surrendered after only three days, with the majority being publicly interrogated and put into Cuban prisons; the failed invasion helped to strengthen the position of Castro's leadership, made him a national hero, entrenched the rocky relationship between the former allies. It reinforced the relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union.

Strengthened Soviet-Cuban relations led to the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The invasion was a failure for US foreign policy. Since the middle of the 18th century, Cuba had been the crown jewel of the Spanish colonial empire. In the late 19th century, Cuban nationalist revolutionaries rebelled against Spanish dominance, resulting in three liberation wars: the Ten Years' War, the Little War and the Cuban War of Independence; the United States government proclaimed war on the Spanish Empire, resulting in the Spanish–American War. The US subsequently forced the Spanish army out. Of note, a special operations attempt to land a group of at least 375 Cuban soldiers on the island succeeded in the Battle of Tayacoba of the Spanish–American War. On 20 May 1902, a new independent government proclaimed the foundation of the Republic of Cuba, with US Military governor Leonard Wood handing over control to President Tomás Estrada Palma, a Cuban-born US citizen. Subsequently, large numbers of US settlers and businessmen arrived in Cuba, by 1905, 60% of rural properties were owned by non-Cuban North Americans.

Between 1906 and 1909, 5,000 US Marines were stationed across the island, returned in 1912, 1917 and 1921 to intervene in internal affairs, sometimes at the behest of the Cuban government. In March 1952, a Cuban general and politician, Fulgencio Batista, seized power on the island, proclaimed himself president and deposed the discredited president Carlos Prío Socarrás of the Partido Auténtico. Batista canceled the planned presidential elections, described his new system as "disciplined democracy." Although Batista gained some popular support, many Cubans saw it as the establishment of a one-man dictatorship. Many opponents of the Batista regime took to armed rebellion in an attempt to oust the government, sparking the Cuban Revolution. One of these groups was the National Revolutionary Movement, a militant organization containing middle-class members, founded by the Professor of Philosophy Rafael García Bárcena. Another was the Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, founded by the Federation of University Students President José Antonio Echevarría.

However, the best known of these anti-Batista groups was the "26th of July Movement", founded by

Blantyre Monument

Blantyre Monument is a commemorative stone in Erskine, Renfrewshire. The monument is in the obelisk style, it is situated adjacent to the B815 road. The monument was built to commemorate the bravery of Robert Walter Stuart, the 11th Lord Blantyre, who lived at nearby Erskine House, he was a Major-General in the British Army and served in the Napoleonic Wars with the Duke of Wellington. He was killed accidentally by a stray bullet in a street fight in Brussels in 1830; the monument was planned by friends. William Burn was the designer, it was constructed in c.1825 and became a category B listed monument on 27 June 1980. The following passage is inscribed on the monument

Cardiff Mail Centre

Cardiff Mail Centre is the main headquarters and sorting office for Royal Mail in Cardiff and one of the main mail centres for the southwest of the United Kingdom. The 4 acre site on Penarth Road, Grangetown was developed circa 1972 comprising a five-storey administration block and several large warehouses for sorting the mail. Letters and parcels are sorted and distributed by lorry to all parts of the United Kingdom. Household and business deliveries to the city centre CF10, CF11, CF23 and CF24 postcode areas are delivered from this office. Customers are able to collect parcels from the public reception area in the main building. From September 2014, as one of the UK's top 100 busiest centres, the service was offered 7 days a week, opening on Sunday afternoons. Postal workers at the site are organised by the Communication Workers Union and the centre has been affected by a number of industrial disputes. For example, in May 2001 none of the 110 workers arrived for the early morning shift, after staying away in support of another CWU walkout in Chester, England.

They returned to work after three days. In November 2008 a fire on the main loading bay caused evacuation of 150 workers and disrupted postal services. CF postcode area