Cuba: Castro vs the World

Cuba: Castro vs the World follows the intricacies of Cuban politics and leadership seen through the eyes of the history, spies, revolutionaries and the diplomats.

Starting from the beginnings of Castro’s reign in January 1959, Fidel’s guerrilla army swept through Cuban cities and overthrew the old regime.

It was a time where Cuba was still rebuilding from its independence from the Spanish Empire and end of its first U.S. military occupation in 1902.

Being a country now in turmoil (and having a strategic position to attack USA), Cuba now attracts the hostility of their giant neighbour, the United States of America, and the friendship of the Soviet Union.

With this new danger at their doorstep, US try to overthrow Castro but are unsuccessful. Further events secure the installation of nuclear missiles on the island by the Soviet Union producing more tensions in the area.

The Cuban Missile Crisis is the closest the world comes to Armageddon.

When Khrushchev backs down and withdraws the missiles, Castro embarks on his independent course of supporting liberation struggles around the world.

They send troops to fight in Algeria in 1963. Fidel’s close comrade Che Guevara leads a guerrilla mission to Bolivia in 1966, which is unsuccessful and ends in Che’s death at the hands of the CIA.

In 1974, as the US pull out of Vietnam, secretary of state Kissinger tries to make contact with Castro.

Two journalists carry secret messages between Washington and Havana, leading to negotiations in a New York hotel.

But the talks founder on the economic embargo the US has imposed on Cuba.

Castro embarks on his most audacious venture, sending Cuban troops to Angola to fight the army of apartheid in South Africa. Cuba also supports guerrilla struggles in Central America, fighting US-backed governments in El Salvador and Nicaragua.

A big surge in Cuban forces in Angola brings victory in southern Africa. But this triumph coincides with the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union.

The loss of their powerful ally raises the question of how Castro’s revolution could survive. New tactics need to be implemented by Castro, Cuba needs new allies and new trading partners.

Looking towards Latin America, Castro befriends Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

This exchange of trading and befriending not only helps Cuba’s economy, it also wins Cuba new allies across all of Latin America and paradoxically leads to rapprochement with the US under the Obama administration.

But with Trump in the White House and Raúl stepping down last April, Cuba’s future remains unclear.

Cuba: Castro vs the World
  • Info
  • Release date2019
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Mick Gold