Lillydahl, Sandy (photographer)
"One lunch stop was at an idyllic retreat formerly owned by Batista. This fresh water swimming pool was built so that a small river could flow in one end and out the other. There was a political and often historic reason connected with each of our tour stops. One morning we unexpectedly encountered armed Cuban soldiers as we climbed on each of our buses. After a few minutes of uncomfortable whispering, I was delegated to ask why there were soldiers with us. The answer was that some members of Alpha 66, a militant Cuban exile group had landed near Baracoa on the north coast. Young Cubans receive military training, and in an event like this, they assume uniforms and weapons if needed to fulfill their military roles, which in this case was guarding our buses. The invasion group was rounded up within a short period of time and we never again had an armed escort."