Cuba: Castro vs the World

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History Documentary hosted by Caroline Catz, published by BBC in 2020 - English narration

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Image: Cuba-Castro-vs-the-World-Cover.jpg

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The story of how Cuba has challenged the world for 60 years.

[edit] The Armed Struggle

Spies, revolutionaries and diplomats reveal the secrets of how a small island in the Caribbean challenged the world. Fidel Castro's guerrilla army sweep into Havana in January 1959. The Cuban Revolution attract the hostility of their giant neighbour, the USA, and the friendship of the Soviet Union. After the US try unsuccessfully to overthrow Castro, the Soviet Union install nuclear missiles on this island. 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.

[edit] The Charm Offensive

The story of how Cuba struggled in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, their main economic and political supporter. The massive decline in living standards triggers refugee crises, which play havoc with Cuba's already difficult relations with the US and force the two enemies to negotiate for the first time one on one and officially. Infuriated, the Cuban Miami exiles step up their operations against what they think is a weakened regime. But Cuba's robust self-defence kills four Americans and gives no choice to President Clinton but to sign a Congress bill that tightens even further the US embargo on the island. Castro has to find new friends and trading partners. He strikes gold in Venezuela - the new president there, Hugo Chavez, is a long-time admirer. Cuba agrees to exchange medical aid for much-needed oil in what becomes known as Operation Milagro. This operation 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.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 21 (~2754Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: Q=0.47 VBR 48KHz (~125Kbps)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 59 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 2
  • Part Size: 1.18 GB (average)
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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