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The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution

The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution(1959)


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In an office setting, American actor Errol Flynn advocates the political aims of Cuba's new leader, Fidel Castro. After explaining that he traveled over 1,000 kilometers, from Havana to Santiago, to meet Castro in person, Flynn narrates over silent documentary footage: Fulgencio Batista, who overtook the Cuban government by means of a coup, participates in a military parade as a show of force. The parade is followed by scenes of Batista greeting American tourists at the presidential palace. In Havana, Flynn visits the Casino de Capri, the opulence of which is contrasted with the poverty-stricken countryside. Batista's dictatorship is protested by various acts of sabotage, including the explosion of city buildings. This increases police brutality and indiscriminate arrests. The political movement known as 26th of July is born on that date in 1953 when rebel political leaders, including Castro, attack Batista's Moncada military barracks. The results of the attacks and the police response is shown in footage of the rebels' mutilated bodies. After briefly returning to scenes of Batista's parade ground, student protesters, including a rebel leader named Echevarria, are shown, followed by a shot of Castro, after his release from serving a two year prison term for organizing the Moncada attack. Further evidence of police brutality is demonstrated as protesters are shot and killed, or wounded, in the streets of Havana. The rebel cause strengthens after Castro returns from exile in Mexico with eighty-one followers. Assaults against the military infrastructure include the destruction of the airport, electrical plants and other government sites. Castro and his surviving fighters then hike into the Sierra Maestra mountains to build their forces and keep Batista's army at bay. It is there that Flynn meets with Castro, as documented in several still photographs, and is presented with a scarf by a female rebel fighter. The aftermath of Batista's assault on the village of Santa Clara, bombed to prevent the advance of Castro's army, is depicted, followed by scenes of the surviving villagers' warm welcome of Castro's forces, revolutionary leader Che Guevara, and executions of Batista's informants. Batista later publicly transfers military power to General Cantillo. Ultimately, the national army is forced to surrender to Castro's rebel forces. Rioting and celebration follows this event, including the ransacking of a government official's home. Castro's victory also results in the return of Cuban exiles: Former President Carlos Primo is welcomed by Castro and Guevara, and future Minister of Interior Luis Orlando Rodriguez makes a speech. Later, Castro makes his first public address in Havana and a memorial service is held for Batista's victims. Succeeding scenes include the reopening of a university and the demolition of a police station, as well as the search for the bodies of Batista's victims. Later at the CavaƱa fortress, surviving Batista loyalists are subjected to trials. Following scenes of the tribunals is a scene of an execution, in which a man is shot by a firing squad and falls into an open grave. Footage of Castro's world press conference is then depicted, featuring thousands of citizens gathered outside to show their support. The film closes with Flynn reading from a card sent by Castro, in which the Cuban leader invites viewers to visit his country, where "freedom, democracy and all of the things that men live by are a reality."