When an attempted assassination of Fidel Castro in Key West fails, A Key West family becomes involved in the Cuban Revolution.
Fidel Castro's 26 July Movement responds to Batista's cruel dictatorship with student protests and guerilla attacks against the Cuban army. Castro is in Key West raising money for his exile army training in Mexico. An assassin sent to Key West by Batista to kill Castro mistakenly murders a young man who resembles Castro. Ramon, the oldest brother of the murdered man, tracks the assassin to Cuba to avenge his brother's death. After seeing conditions in Cuba, Ramon decides to help overthrow Batista and he smuggles guns to Castro's army in Mexico and later in Cuba.
When relations between the United States and Cuba sour after Castro's takeover, the CIA pressures Ramon to run guns to anti-Castro forces. Ramon learns that many Cubans support Castro and advises the CIA that it is doubtful there would be support for an invasion of Cuba.
After the fiasco at the Bay of Pigs, Ramon's life returns to normal until the CIA once again recruits him to take agents into Cuba to document the installation of missiles. When he attempts to bring the agents back to Florida, the Cuban military nearly sink his boat. The information he brings back from Cuba is vital to the Kennedy Administration and their confrontation with the Soviet Union to remove the missiles.
The warm water heats the air above the Gulf of México and spawns trails of cottony clouds. The clouds shadow the Gulf's meandering currents, wending clockwise paths from the Yucatan to the Florida Keys. When the winds are light and the clouds linger over the sultry water, they absorb heat and energy and build to vast heights. Like a brigade of soldiers on parade, they march erect in their white uniforms.
The clouds rise higher and higher. They squeeze against an invisible barrier in the stratosphere and form an anvil top, the signal to change from their parade uniforms to black battle dress. The battle commences when zigzag tracers of lightening crackle between the water and clouds, followed by explosive thunder, unnerving to experienced mariners. Ice-cold winds, plummeting down the sides of the anvil, hammer the ocean with fury, while violent updrafts of warm moist air ram the cloud's muzzle with charges of black powder. Ice-cold rain, driven by the gale, stings bare skin and seamen shiver from the rain and shrink from pitching seas and crushing thunder.
Then, like a nightmare, it ends abruptly, though it seemed to last forever. The seas calm, and a breeze perfumed with fresh rain erases the skirmish from a sailor's memory.