Victor Andres Triay,


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Freedom Betrayed: Book II of The Unbroken Circle  series (2014)

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Cuba, 1961. Democratic activists have launched a full-scale insurgency against the emerging Communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro. Abroad, a group of Cuban exiles has allied itself with the United States government and created an assault force called Brigade 2506. The Brigade’s mission: invade Cuba, oust Castro, and establish democratic government on the island. By the time Brigade 2506 hits the beaches at the Bay of Pigs, it has been abandoned by its powerful ally. In the closing of The Struggle Begins, Book I of The Unbroken Circle series, three cousins, Goyo, Roberto, and Emilio, flee Cuba after nearly being arrested for conspiring against the Castro government. In Book II, Freedom Betrayed, they join Brigade 2506 and take part in the epic three-day battle that will determine the future of their homeland. The rest of their family, still in Cuba, is forced to endure the invasion’s consequences and finds itself at the mercy of a full-blown totalitarian state. Its plight worsens when its two youngest members are sent out of Cuba, by themselves, as part of an airlift of Cuban refugee children. A spellbinding family saga brimming with rich characters, this true to life work of historical fiction offers readers a front row seat to one of the most heart-wrenching struggles for freedom of modern times.

Author Reviews for Book I:
“. . . a rare and exhilarating combination of fact and fiction, this is one hell of a page-turner that draws you in and never lets go.”
--Carlos Eire, Ph.D., Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University. Author of Waiting for Snow in Havana (National Book Award 2003)

“Triay is a master at plot mechanics.”
--Lily Prellezo, author of Seagull One: The Amazing True Story of Brothers to the Rescue

"I started reading it one afternoon and couldn't put it down until I finished."
--Margaret Paris, author of Embracing America: A Cuban Exile Comes of Age.

Other Reader Reviews:
"The Struggle Begins" is a thrilling historical novel that cannot be put down . . ."

"The characters are so real that you can almost touch them."

"The Struggle Begins" is presented to the readers in a scenario that combines the reality of Cuba in 1960 with fictional characters to make a fascinating novel."

"Caught right away in the drama of a Cuban family in the midst of their struggles with Castro's revolution."

The Struggle Begins: Book I of The Unbroken Circle series (2013).

Havana, Cuba, 1960. The euphoria following the nation’s successful Revolution the previous year has waned among large sectors of the population. Cuba’s new leader, Fidel Castro, after having promised to restore democracy to the troubled island, is forcibly dragging the country down the road to Communist dictatorship. As a dark Stalinist cloud begins to envelop the country, democratic forces launch an anti-government insurgency with the hope of saving Cuba from the totalitarian darkness that threatens her. The Unbroken Circle series is the story of the fictional León family, whose peaceful, middle class existence is swept suddenly into a tempest of warfare, betrayal, and separation during the early years of the Cuban Revolution. In Book I, The Struggle Begins, Goyo León, a devoted teacher and family man, is recruited into the anti-Castro underground after his father is killed at the hands of Castro’s henchmen. Unbeknownst to Goyo, his young cousins Roberto and Emilio have also secretly joined the anti-Communist resistance through acquaintances at the University of Havana. With the three cousins becoming more deeply involved in the pro-democracy struggle every day, tensions rise as the stakes for their homeland reach an all-time high. Told with the heart-pounding suspense of a Cold War saga and the poignancy of a family drama, The Struggle Begins sets the stage for The Unbroken Circle series with electrifying power.

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Winnerof the 2001 Samuel Proctor Oral History Prize, Florida Historical Association.

Published by the University Press of Florida, 2001.

This is the story of the Bay of Pigs invasion, told for the first time in the words of the idealistic participants who came together in April 1961 to overthrow Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. Most of the approximately 1,500 men of Brigade 2506 were captured by Castro’s forces in Cuban swamps and jailed until December 1962. About 114 died. Combining oral history and traditional narrative form, Victor Triay tells us who individual members of the Brigade were and what they fought for. As one veteran, only eighteen at the time of the invasion, recalls, “It was my turn to do something for Cuba. Probably the purest thing I have ever done in my life was to make the decision to go.” Triay describes the volunteers’ recruitment, training, combat experience, and the wretched months of their imprisonment. He also presents the women they left behind, including three who were widowed by the invasion.

Among the nearly 2 million people in the U.S. Cuban community today, the freedom fighters who made up Brigade 2506 have always been accorded the highest level of respect. Bay of Pigs tells the personal stories of the invasion in an account that restores the human dimension to a pivotal moment in the history of the Cold War. (From UPF website)


"Triay's Bay of Pigs makes a valuable contribution by righting a wrong from the perspective of the men and women whose lives the invasion forever changed." - The Herald

"Highlights the experiences of the Cubans involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion, a story that has been missing from the literature up to this point." - Southern Historian

"superb" "Victor Andres Triay as well as the brigadistas should be congratulated for providing us with a most moving and interesting first-hand account of the Bay of Pigs invasion." -Florida Historical Quarterly "

Victor Andres Triay's "Bay of Pigs" makes a valuable contribution by righting a wrong from the perspective of the men and women whose lives the invasion forever changed." - Fabiola Santiago, Knight-Ridder News Service Journal-Poughkeepsie, NY

"Nevertheless, for those who may have forgotten what happened, it is a book that should be read." -Tampa Tribune Times


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Published by Random House, 2004.

Infundidos por el llamado de este himno de batalla, el 17 de abril de 1961, un pequeño ejército de cubanos idealistas voluntarios desembarcó en la costa meridional de Cuba a unirse a la infeliz contienda militar que sería conocida por el mundo entero como la Invasión de Bahía de Cochinos. A aquellos hombres valientes se les honraría con el nombre de su compañía: la Brigada de Asalto 2506. Su propósito era simple: la derroca de la dictadura de Fidel Castro y el restablecimiento de la Constitución democrática de 1940.

He aquí la historia inédita de la invasión de Bahía de Cochinos a través de las propias palabras de sus participantes, que describen las circunstancias y experiencias personales que los llevaron a formar parte de este enfrentamiento histórico.

Victor Triay combina con habilidad el género narrativo tradicional con testimonios inéditos de primera mano. La patria nos espera recuenta un episodio importante en la historia cubano-americana que marcó un paso decisivo en la Guerra Fría, a la vez que lo devuelve a su dimensión plenamente humana, desgarradora y real. (from description)

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Published by the University Press of Florida, 1998

A stirring account of the covert effort to smuggle Cuban children into the United States in the aftermath of Fidel Castro's rise to power, Fleeing Castro brings to light the humanitarian program designed to care for the children once they arrived and the hardship and suffering endured by the families who took part in Operation Pedro Pan.
From late 1960 until the October 1962 missile crisis, 14,048 unaccompanied Cuban children left their homeland, the small island suddenly at the center of the Cold War struggle. Their parents, unable to obtain visas to leave Cuba, believed a short separation would be preferable to subjecting their offspring to Castro's totalitarian Marxist state. For the children, the exodus began a prolonged and tragic ordeal--some didn’t see their parents again for years; a few never did.
Until now, this chapter of the Cuban Revolution has been relatively obscure. Initially the result of an effort by James Baker, headmaster of an American school in Cuba who worked closely with the anti-Castro underground, Pedro Pan quickly came to involve the Catholic Church in Miami and, in particular, Father Bryan Walsh, who established the Cuban Children's Program, the nationwide organization that cared for those children without relatives or friends in the United States--almost half of them. The latter program, in effect until 1981, was the first to allot federal money to private agencies for child care, an action with far-reaching repercussions for U.S. social policy.
Victor Andres Triay traces this story from its political and social origins in Cuba, setting it in the context of the Cold War and describing the roles of the organizations involved in Cuba and in the United States. Making use of extensive interviews with Baker, Walsh, and influential underground figures, as well as personal letters that document the fears and dreams of both the parents and the children, Triay presents this history of Pedro Pan--the largest child refugee movement ever in the Western Hemisphere--with the drama of an international thriller and the pathos of a heartbreaking family drama. (From UPF website)


"For the children, the ordeal began when their parents told them they had to travel alone and that they had to keep the upcoming trip a secret. The most powerful parts of the book are their accounts." -- Miami Herald

"Describing the migration of more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the US between 1960 and 1962, Triay recounts a chapter in the extension of the Cold War to the Americas. . . . Students of inter-American relations will especially welcome his treatment of private sector responses in the US to confronting Castro's Cuba during the 1960s." --Choice "

A tale of great heroism." -Florida Historical Quarterly

"Drawing from archival and secondary sources, interviews with several key organizers, and ten former Pedro Pan children, the author brings to light many little-known facts about the programs' internal operations and the individuals involved." -Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

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Published by the University Press of Florida, 2005

Teofilo Babun Sr., a wealthy Santiago de Cuba businessman and logging camp owner, sensed that the small skirmish near his sawmill involving a ragtag band of guerrillas and the Cuban military was the beginning of something historic. Babun befriended Fidel Castro, the leader of the rebels, and negotiated access for his company photographer to Castro's inner circle. Years later Babun's son, Teofilo Jr., would come across these photos among his father's belongings, and he now makes them available in this eyewitness account of the Cuban Revolution.

The photographs of Jose "Chilin" Trutie capture everything--the Revolution's soldiers and firing squads, President John F. Kennedy's 1962 address in Miami to Cuban exiles, and Brigade 2506, the liberation army that sought to overthrow Castro. These images, most of them never before seen, vividly document the inner life of a revolution with candid images of rebels dining together, jeeps moving through rustic, muddy camps, and Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara walking side by side in a reflective moment. Trutie and his camera also catch the tragic side of revolutionary activity--burning sugar mills, jungle hospitals, and corpses with pockets turned inside out, lying in open graves. These raw photos, combined with the narrative text of Teo A. Babun Jr. and Cuban-American historian Victor Triay, offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on the complex story of the Cuban Revolution. (From UPF website)


"For Cubans who remember that time, this book will be like reliving it. For those who do not, it offers a good introduction to a complicated period." Tampa Tribune

"Whatever your feelings about Cuba's direction over the last 45 years, Trutie's unblinking images of idealistic, fresh-faced soldiers, ordinary life in the rebel camps, members of Castro's inner circle, and dozens of nameless victims of the war are a sobering reminder of history's toll on the people of Cuba." The Caribbean Review of Books

"It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and that is why today's presentation is so riveting." Barnes & Noble Events

…a fascinating and far-reaching collection of images that will be welcomed by students and historians of the Cuban revolutionary period. The Americas "

A well planned, historical depiction of contemporary Cuban history and a great testimony to the didactic power of the visual image as a means of transmitting history. It is to the credit of Teo A Babun and Victor Andres Triay, who possess a very keen understanding of Cuban history, to produce such an interesting and facinating book."
Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies

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