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David Christus, Walter Szuminski and Thornton Anderson were all taken prisoner in August 1960 in an attempt to conquer the Havana Chamber of Chinese diplomats - an action intended to help the impending Bay of Pigs settlement of the US thwart Fidel Castro (above)

After the unsuccessful invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Fidel Castro lined the walls of one of Cuba's most notorious prisons with five tons of explosives, but three CIA officers who were imprisoned made an incredible attempt to ensure that the bombs never burst into a remarkable story that was released for the first time.

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David Christ (42) was a senior CIA officer in the fall of 1960. He was considered more of a scientist than a field worker and was responsible for designing many of the eavesdropping equipment used by the office to spy on his most hostile enemies.

But when he saw an opportunity to replace the front-line lab, he began what was considered by his intelligence peers as a & # 39; suicide mission & # 39; – he traveled with his nose to the depths of Havana at a time when Castro's Communist regime in full flow and relations with America had never been so tense.

He took two agents – the relative rookie Walter Szuminski, 30 and Thornton Anderson, 34 – the three men who went to the Cuban capital on August 31, 1960 to thwart the apartment of various Chinese diplomats and close confidants of the communist revolutionary.

But with Castro the counter-revolutionaries and political prisoners unrolled against each other by the busload, the presence of the trio in the city did not go unnoticed and they were held by the state before they could complete the cowboy operation.

David Christus, Walter Szuminski and Thornton Anderson were all taken prisoner in August 1960 in an attempt to conquer the Havana Chamber of Chinese diplomats - an action intended to help the impending Bay of Pigs settlement of the US thwart Fidel Castro (above)

David Christus, Walter Szuminski and Thornton Anderson were all taken prisoner in August 1960 in an attempt to conquer the Havana Chamber of Chinese diplomats – an action intended to help the impending Bay of Pigs settlement of the US thwart Fidel Castro (above)

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However, unlike so many prisoners of the US government before them, the three men managed to evade the firing squad. They spent months in interrogations and convinced Cuban soldiers that they were normal tourists and engineers forced into espionage by a representative of the American embassy.

Contrary to expectations, the story stuck. But the nightmare didn't stop when the men were ordered to sit 10 years in prison in one of the country's most notorious prisons, the Isle of Pines, a smelly facility on a small island off Cuba's southwest coast.

Castro himself had spent time in the cells of the facility, along with his brother after their first failed attempt at revolution. But since his rise to power, he has been at the center of his new government's penal system – an imminent symbol of reality waiting for all those who conspire to oppose him.

For Christ, the idea that he spent a decade behind bars of the filthy, bedridden, Alcatraz-like prison was not a reality he was afraid of.

Unlike Szuminiski and Anderson, Christ had taken note of a briefing that the CIA had trained Cuban dissidents on a private island off the coast of Miami, which would soon fight the way back to Havana, backed by the support of American Air.

Dubbed the Bay of Pigs, the invasion would strive to start a counter-revolution, eventually expelling Castro from the power.

The men were ordered to serve 10 years in prison in one of the country's most notorious prisons, the Isle of Pines, a smelly facility along the southwest coast

The men were ordered to serve 10 years in prison in one of the country's most notorious prisons, the Isle of Pines, a smelly facility along the southwest coast

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The men were ordered to serve 10 years in prison in one of the country's most notorious prisons, the Isle of Pines, a smelly facility along the southwest coast

For Christ, the idea that he spent a decade behind bars of the filthy, bedridden, Alcatraz-like prison was not a reality he was afraid of. Unlike Szuminiski and Anderson, Christ had taken note of a briefing that the CIA had trained Cuban dissidents on a private island off the coast of Miami (some of which are pictured above), which would soon fight their way back to Havana, supported by American Air support

For Christ, the idea that he spent a decade behind bars of the filthy, bedridden, Alcatraz-like prison was not a reality he was afraid of. Unlike Szuminiski and Anderson, Christ had taken note of a briefing that the CIA had trained Cuban dissidents on a private island off the coast of Miami (some of which are pictured above), which would soon fight their way back to Havana, supported by American Air support

For Christ, the idea that he spent a decade behind bars of the filthy, bedridden, Alcatraz-like prison was not a reality he was afraid of. Unlike Szuminiski and Anderson, Christ had taken note of a briefing that the CIA had trained Cuban dissidents on a private island off the coast of Miami (some of which are pictured above), which would soon fight their way back to Havana, supported by American Air support

Christ's original order to conquer the chamber of Chinese diplomats was intended as a piece of the puzzle to provide information about Castro's defenses.

But Castro was prepared for the invasion, and in less than 24 hours, 100 US-trained counter-revolutionaries were dead and 1,100 others were captured.

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Christ, Szuminiski and Anderson listened from their prison cell on the fourth floor as a firearm erupted and slowly disappeared into the distance.

While prison guards were celebrating, Christ was new that the counter-revolutionary forces had fallen, and suddenly the immediate future of the three stranded agents seemed to be all the more disturbing.

After winning, Castro's next move was to gain some influence against the Americans to discourage other attempts at invasion.

The Isle of Pines prison was filled with state dissidents and enemies, who had long hoped to see Castro and his kind driven by power.

Many of the prisoners were the figureheads of anti-Castro movements and if the US wanted to provoke a counter-revolution, their first port of call would be to free the prisoners from the island of Pines who would help get the wheels moving.

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The location of the failed Bay of Pigs operation suggested that the prison might even have been one of the intentions' planned targets.

As a result, Castro ordered the prison walls to be covered with explosives for destruction and witnessed to blow on his own order.

The Isle of Pines prison was filled with state dissidents and enemies, who had long hoped to see Castro and his kind driven by power. Many of the prisoners were figureheads of anti-Castro movements and if the US wanted to provoke a counter-revolution, their first port of call would be to free the prisoners from the island of Pines who would help get the wheels moving

The Isle of Pines prison was filled with state dissidents and enemies, who had long hoped to see Castro and his kind driven by power. Many of the prisoners were figureheads of anti-Castro movements and if the US wanted to provoke a counter-revolution, their first port of call would be to free the prisoners from the island of Pines who would help get the wheels moving

The Isle of Pines prison was filled with state dissidents and enemies, who had long hoped to see Castro and his kind driven by power. Many of the prisoners were figureheads of anti-Castro movements and if the US wanted to provoke a counter-revolution, their first port of call would be to free the prisoners from the island of Pines who would help get the wheels moving

Castro himself had spent time in the cells of the facility, along with his brother after their first failed attempt at revolution. But since his rise to power, he has been at the center of his new government's penal system - an imminent symbol of reality awaiting all those who conspire to oppose him

Castro himself had spent time in the cells of the facility, along with his brother after their first failed attempt at revolution. But since his rise to power, he has been at the center of his new government's penal system - an imminent symbol of reality awaiting all those who conspire to oppose him

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Castro himself had spent time in the cells of the facility, along with his brother after their first failed attempt at revolution. But since his rise to power, he has been at the center of his new government's penal system – an imminent symbol of reality awaiting all those who conspire to oppose him

For a few days Christ watched as soldiers brought boxes of mecha explosivo – explosive explosive wick – to the walls of the prison. Days after wooden boxes with the letters & # 39; TNT & # 39; stenciled on the side also began to come in abundance.

Because he estimated that each box contained around 50 kilos of dynamite, he came to the conclusion that the prison was now full of about five tons of powerful explosives.

Guards then began spreading black plastic rings with white numbers engraved on them, each digit corresponding to the prisoner's identity, so that their bodies are accounted for when they explode.

Christ knew that even the slightest change in Castro's mood could elevate the six thousand or so prisoners on the island of Pines to relative dust and drastic measures had to be taken.

Various plans to sabotage the now explosive foundations of the prison began almost as soon as the panic struck. Various factions within the walls began to introduce desirable, diffuse efforts.

Eventually, a former Cuban Air Force officer named Captain Miro took the lead and attempted to unite the efforts of the scattered groups, appointing the three Americans – who he believed were only engineers – as the head of the operation.

It was necessary for the CIA men to maintain their coverage. If their special expertise was well known to the prisoners, the word would eventually reach the guards and soldiers of Castro.

The explosives were installed in a tunnel under the prison. One of Miro's men had discovered a hole in the well for rats in the bathroom on the first floor that led directly to the tunnel.

Volunteers from the cause used improvised hammers and chisels to nail the concrete behind the toilet.

As a result, Castro ordered the prison walls to be covered with explosives for destruction and witnessed to blow on his own order.
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As a result, Castro ordered the prison walls to be covered with explosives for destruction and witnessed to blow on his own order.

As a result, Castro ordered the prison walls to be covered with explosives for destruction and witnessed to blow on his own order.

Christ knew that even the slightest change in Castro's mood could level the six thousand or so prisoners on the island of Pines to relative dust, and drastic action had to be taken

Christ knew that even the slightest change in Castro's mood could level the six thousand or so prisoners on the island of Pines to relative dust, and drastic action had to be taken

Christ knew that even the slightest change in Castro's mood could level the six thousand or so prisoners on the island of Pines to relative dust, and drastic action had to be taken

The overwhelming noise in the tower – with the roar of hundreds of men shouting and the rattle of pipes – helped to obscure the tunneling efforts. Within three days the hole went from just five centimeters in diameter to one foot.

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They recruited a small man with the nickname Americano to squeeze through the opening, who discovered that the soldiers had witnessed the dynamite with a sort of failsafe detonation system.

If the electrical detonation system did not function properly or was tampered with, the Cuban soldiers could ignite the primer cord from a shed 800 meters from the prison.

Sabotaging a system would not be enough. They had to find a way to switch off both igniters without being detected by the guards.

Thanks to their experience working with audio equipment, the CIA men found a simple solution for the electric failsafe system.

The difficulty came with learning Americano – the only man who could fit into the opening – to do it. Prisoners from other departments of the facility also had to be trained.

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For four nights, they worked with Americano in a cell, repeated the operation over and over, even blindfolding him with a blanket and cutting and twisting the right wires should the light in the tunnel be limited.

When he seemed to be ready, Americano lowered himself into the tunnel an hour before the last count before bedtime. Just before his sixty minutes, the time window had run out, grinning and nodding his head that defusing had been a success.

Word came back one by one that identical missions orchestrated by the CIA men in other towers were also successful.

The men then waited for their release.

The three CIA men dared it all, working together with different groups of prisoners and sharing their expertise to set out a plan to distribute the bombs, train prisoners to tackle wires and sabotage the explosive foundations of the prison.

The three CIA men dared it all, working together with different groups of prisoners and sharing their expertise to set out a plan to distribute the bombs, train prisoners to tackle wires and sabotage the explosive foundations of the prison.

The three CIA men dared it all, working together with different groups of prisoners and sharing their expertise to set out a plan to distribute the bombs, train prisoners to tackle wires and sabotage the explosive foundations of the prison.

More than two and a half years of their ordeal, a roar broke out among prisoners in March 1963.

Prisoners applauded and hit the three men on the back as one guard called their name from a clipboard in the center of the facility.

Although they had not realized that before, the trio had become heroes for the men around them.

It was an unlikely win against Castro at a time when no one seemed capable of doing that – especially the US.

Christ, Szuminski and Anderson were all escorted outside the prison walls, where the American lawyer James Donovan greeted them.

Donovan had been working directly with Castro for months to close a deal for the release of more than a thousand Pigs bosses.

He eventually found a bargaining chip that Cubans could not refuse: $ 53 million in food and medical aid.

The trio managed to keep their coverage for no less than 949 days in Cuban detention, under the worst possible conditions and took extraordinary risks to save the lives of their fellow prisoners

The trio managed to keep their coverage for no less than 949 days in Cuban detention, under the worst possible conditions and took extraordinary risks to save the lives of their fellow prisoners

The trio managed to keep their coverage for no less than 949 days in Cuban detention, under the worst possible conditions and took extraordinary risks to save the lives of their fellow prisoners

The offer was officially made on Christmas Eve 1962 and the prisoners of the ill-fated invasion were assured that they would soon be released.

Without permission from President John F. Kennedy, Donovan also asked that Castro sanction the release of nearly nine thousand detained family members of the Bay of Pigs invaders, along with a few dozen American prisoners decaying in Cuban detention – including the three CIA officers.

The trio managed to maintain their coverage for no less than 949 days in Cuban detention under the worst possible conditions and took extraordinary risks to save the lives of their fellow prisoners.

For the first time, their remarkable story was publicly shared.

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