Order of Playa Girón

The Order of Playa Girón[1] is a national order conferred by the Council of State of Cuba on Cubans or foreigners for their leadership in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, or who have contributed to peace and the progress of humankind.[2] It was established in 1961 and is named after the Playa Girón (Girón beach), site of the Cuban victory in the Bay of Pigs Invasion.[2]

Order of Playa Girón
Orden Playa Girón.jpg
The Order of Playa Girón
Awarded by the Cuba Republic of Cuba
TypeSingle-grade order
EligibilityCitizens of Cuba, foreigners
First awarded1961
Order of Playa Girón (ribbon bar).png
Ribbon bar of the order


The order takes the form of a gold medal with pin and ribbon. The obverse of the medal depicts a soldier in fighting attitude, with one foot on the Cuban archipelago and the other on the North American mainland.[3] Earlier versions included the Cuban motto, "Patria o Muerte" (Homeland or Death), while later versions include the Cuban colours above, a wreath below, and the words "Orden Playa Girón" (Order of Playa Girón). The reverse depicts the coat of arms of Cuba and the wording "Consejo de Estado" and "República de Cuba" (Council of State, Republic of Cuba).



The first recipient was the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who travelled to Cuba to receive the award on 26 July 1961, the Day of the National Rebellion, from President Osvaldo Dorticos, just over three months after becoming the first human in space.[4]

All recipients of the Hero of the Republic of Cuba also receive the Order of Playa Girón.[5] Recipients have included prominent international figures including Leonid Brezhnev, Yasser Arafat, Angela Davis and Nelson Mandela, as well as a number of other cosmonauts, Soviet military leaders, and independence fighters.

List of recipientsEdit

  1. Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut (26 July 1961)
  2. Angela Davis, American political activist (1972)
  3. Samora Machel, President of Mozambique (October 1973)[2]
  4. Valentina Tereshkova, Soviet cosmonaut (29 March 1974)[6]
  5. Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian National Authority (November 1974)[2]
  6. Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1976)
  7. Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rican independence fighter (1979)[7]
  8. Lolita Lebrón, Puerto Rican independence fighter (1979)[7]
  9. Irvin Flores, Puerto Rican independence fighter (1979)[7]
  10. Oscar Collazo, Puerto Rican independence fighter (1979)[7]
  11. Andrés Figueroa Cordero, Puerto Rican independence fighter (1979, posthumous)[7]
  12. Yuri Romanenko, Soviet cosmonaut (1980)[8]
  13. Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, Cuban cosmonaut (1980)[8]
  14. Leonid Popov, Soviet cosmonaut (1980)
  15. Vladimir Shatalov, Soviet cosmonaut (1980)
  16. Nelson Mandela, South African political prisoner (1984)[9]
  17. Oliver Tambo, South African anti-apartheid activist (24 March 1986)[10]
  18. Sergey Sokolov, Soviet commander (1986)
  19. Valery Ryumin, Soviet cosmonaut
  20. The Cuban Five, Cuban intelligence officers Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González and Fernando González. Awarded in 2001 and presented on their release from prison in 2015.[11]
  21. Enrique Carreras Rolas, Cuban soldier (2001)[2]
  22. Lázaro Cárdenas, president of Mexico[2]
  23. Pedro Miret, Cuban soldier (2001)[2]
  24. Julio Casas Regueiro, Cuban soldier (April 2001)[2]
  25. Viktor Kulikov, Warsaw Pact commander-in-chief (2006)[2]
  26. Romárico Sotomayor García, Cuban soldier (2015)[12]


  1. ^ Arista-Salado, Maikel (2010). Trafford (ed.). Condecoraciones cubanas. Teoría e historia (in Spanish). p. 360. ISBN 978-1-4269-4427-7.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Orden Playa Girón" (in Spanish). EduRed. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  3. ^ Lucía Sanz Araujo (18 April 2011). "Con el nombre de Playa Girón". Radio Rebelde (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Fidel, Gagarin y la Orden Playa Girón" (in Spanish). 31 May 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  5. ^ Acosta Álvarez, Homero (25 February 2015). "Reciban, queridos compañeros, en nombre de este pueblo que les admira, las condecoraciones". Granma (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Valentina Vladimirovna TERESHKOVA". Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e "'Cuba will never renounce solidarity with Puerto Rico'". The Militant. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez". BlackPast.org. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Nelson Mandela Tributes: National Honours". Nelson Mandela Foundation. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Cuba Awards President Tambo the Order of Playa Giron" (pdf). March 1986. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  11. ^ "President Raul Castro Pins Medals on the Cuban Five". Radio Habana Cuba. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Angola's independence struggle commemorated in Cuba". Granma. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2016.