Student and activist, conspired against the Batista government, supported Castro during that time and then, realize the nature of the revolution was not what we fought for, turned against the regime, and decided to leave the country to join what became known as the brigade 2506. Landed in Cuba as a member of the infiltration teams of the brigade. Co-founder of Brothers to the Rescue, and writer of a book named “Dia tras Dia con los Hermanos al Rescate”
May 1960 We departed Havana (this group consisted of just 2 persons, Jose B. Clark and myself.
Arrived in Miami. We were on our own for about two weeks. Later we were transferred to Useppa Island, on the West Coast of Florida, were we stayed for about 45 days undergoing psychological evaluation.
From Useppa, we were once more taken by car, to Opa-Locka Airport to a deserted airstrip. There we boarded and unmarked C-54, their windows were blackened to prevent us for knowing were we were or where we were being taken.
After about 8 hours on the air, we landed to what we later found out, was a Military Base in Panama. From there, on unmarked and closed military trucks, we were taken to small base in the hills. Here we underwent military training in guerilla warfare and demolitions.
After training, we were once more flown on unmarked airplanes to what we later discovered was Guatemala. We stayed in Guatemala for a period of about 6 months undergoing the same kind of training we had received in Panama.
From Panama, we were once more flown to Louisiana to an abandoned Airforce Base that was used as an “stage area”.
I entered Cuba by boat in March 1961. Our team was composed by 4 men and we were to work in Habana with three organizations, MRR, Directorio Revolucionario and Movimiento 30 de Noviembre.
In May 1961, after the failure of the Invasion, I entered the Brazilian Embassy were I stayed until July 1961, when finally a “safe-conduct” was given to me to fly to Brazil. When the plane made a stop in Venezuela, I stayed in Venezuela until arrangements were made for me to return to Miami.
José Basulto is a dreamer, patriot, and family man. He is one of the most recognized Cuban exile figures in the world. He fought in the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, trained and worked with the CIA as a freedom fighter, drove a power boat from Miami to Havana to bomb a hotel full of Russians, joined the US Army in 1963, helped the Nicaraguan Contras in the 80s, and then began Brothers to the Rescue in 1991.
Brothers to the Rescue saved over 4,200 Cuban rafters escaping Communist Cuba during the 1990s. BTTR also helped the US Coast Guard rescue over 30,000 more rafters during the 1994 exodus. On February 24, 1996, Fidel and Raúl Castro gave the order to shoot down two BTTR aircraft while flying a humanitarian mission in international waters over the Florida States. The murder of four men—three US citizens and one legal resident—received worldwide condemnation. The story of the nineteen nationalities of volunteers that comprised the Brotherhood is told in Seagull One: The Amazing True Story of
Brothers to the Rescue.
Basulto has been prominently featured in newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, and television shows across the globe, and is the recipient of a myriad of humanitarian awards. He is a proud member of Brigade 2506 of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
José Basulto is now retired and likes to build replica cannons and remote-controlled boats and planes. He and his wife Rita live in Miami, Florida. They have five children and eight grandchildren.