Documentary about Fidel Castro, covering 40 years of Cuban Revolution. Rare Fidel Castro footage: he appears swimming with a bodyguard, visiting his childhood home and school, playing with ...
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Hector Cruz Sandoval
Alberto Diaz Gutiérrez,
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara,
Documentary about Fidel Castro, covering 40 years of Cuban Revolution. Rare Fidel Castro footage: he appears swimming with a bodyguard, visiting his childhood home and school, playing with his friend Nelson Mandela, meeting kid Elián Gonzalez, and celebrating his birthday with the Buena Vista Social Club group. Written by
Loved it. I was 10 years old when Castro kicked out that corrupt dictator Batista. And, this was greeted by elation by the intelligentsia in Manila. After all, the western media lionized him. US educated (New York University?), a lawyer and coming from the landlord class, it was generally assumed that he would be an ally to big business and American strategic interests. The shock came when he confiscated US businesses in Cuba. Then came the media barrage picturing Castro as virtually a reincarnation of Hitler or Stalin. The Philippines then as now, hewed very closely to the US line. But my sympathies were with Castro. What decent Cubans, after all, could accept a Havana dominated by casinos run by American mafia where the nightly entertainment included "fighting fish" (impoverished native Cubans copulating on stage)? Or, having the price of their chief exports - sugar and tobacco - dictated by US banks and trading houses? Worse, to have their country's public utilities like power companies and trains owned and run by foreign corporations? But here it must be clarified that one of Castro's first acts as leader of Cuba was to seek strong economic and strategic ties with the US. It looked like he couldn't get a fair deal which was why he turned to the Soviets who were ever alert to opportunities to undermine US interests.
I didn't know that the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa was largely caused by Cuban support of revolutionary movements in Angola and Mozambique. Nelson Mandela himself acknowledges this in the film where he greets Castro with a touching song and dance.The Boer government realized that the only way to stem the tide of armed black resistance intruding into South African borders was to accommodate black leaders like Mandela.
But for me, the most enlightening moments of the movie came when I saw and heard the young Castro without the beard. He looked and sounded so kind, honest and sincere. Note how he cried and shed copious tears when he announced the names of the abusive US businesses he was confiscating in the name of the Cuban people. He knew then that the ordinary Americans whom he loved and admired were bound to misunderstand his action and view him as an enemy. I am an excellent judge of character based on looks and demeanor.
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