© AFP/Miguel Vinas
US-backed Cuban counter-revolutionaries from Assault Brigade 2506 after their capture in the Bay of Pigs in April 1961.
Cuban officials didn't even need to look for a punchline for their response to new US sanctions, announced on the same day that, almost six decades ago, the failed US-sponsored invasion of the socialist island began.

On April 17, 1961, a well-armed group of Cuban exiles, who were trained and financed by the CIA, landed in the Bay of Pigs with the aim of overthrowing Fidel Castro's government. But the invaders faced a strong response from the Revolutionary Armed Forces and surrendered after just three days of fighting, while the US faced a massive international backlash for plotting the coup.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez was quick to remind Washington of the embarrassing blunder, writing on Twitter: "Aggressive escalation of US against Cuba will fail. As in Giron (Bay of Pigs), we shall overcome."

Rodríguez blasted the sanctions, which he called "an attack against International Law and the sovereignty of Cuba and third states."

The head of the US Division in the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal, also chipped in, promising that the US will lose once again, just as had happened in the Bay of Pigs.

White House national security adviser John Bolton announced the new sanctions on Havana in a speech before the veterans of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

"Under this administration, we don't throw dictators lifelines. We take them away," he stressed.

The sanctions will see remittances sent by US citizens to Cuba limited to $1,000 per-person per-quarter and non-family travel restricted to stop Cuban government from benefiting from "veiled tourism." Five more entities will also be added to the Cuban blacklist, including the military-owned airline Aerogaviota, Bolton said.