Forty five years after it defeated a CIA-trained force at the Bay of Pigs, Cuba is still as defiant as ever in its approach to the United States.President Fidel Castro used the anniversary to lash out at Washington, saying the nation had too much on its plate to pose a threat: “There will never be a force in the world capable of bringing us to our knees,” he told a 3,000-strong audience of veterans at Havana’s Karl Marx theatre. For Cuban authorities the anniversary of the battle serves to keep the island’s inhabitants alert to the threat of a US invasion. During his during two-and-a-half-hour speech Castro broached the issues of Iran and Iraq. The 79-year-old defended Tehran’s right to develop nuclear energy, rejecting Western fears that it intends to develop atomic weaponry. And as for Iraq, Castro concluded that the US had reached a dead-end and should withdraw.