Cuba! Africa! Revolution!

[***Please note: Jihan El-Tahri’s film has been removed and replaced with a short related film***]


Jihan El Tahri’s 2007 documentary “CUBA! AFRICA! REVOLUTION!” (aka “Cuba, an African Odyssey”) tells the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for African revolutions. This documentary unravels the story of the so-called Cold War,through the prism of its least known arena: Africa. Against colonialism, capitalism, and communism, the newly independent nations attempted for the first time to gain real control of their own countries. From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo, up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries.

Patrice Lumumba was an African anti-colonial leader, and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after he assisted it achieve independence from Belgium in June 1960. Only ten weeks later, Lumumba’s government was deposed in a coup. He was subsequently imprisoned and assassinated. President Colonel Mobutu, the key figure in the coup, supported by the Congo’s former colonial power, Belgium, and the CIA, became the Congo’s ruler. Cuba shared Africa’s revolutionary quest for independence.

Fidel Castro decided that Cuba could not stand idly by, so he sent Che Guevara to Africa to assess how they could aid local liberation movements. In 1965, Guevara went to the Congo in an attempt to spark a revolution against the pro-Western regime, which had emerged after the assassination of Lumumba. The problem was, Guevara was without formal military training, and was up against the Congolese, who were aided by US Army Special Forces. So he returned to Cuba and recruited 120 soldiers, taking them back to the Congo. Still, Guevara’s army was no match, and they eventually withdrew in August, 1965.

From the tragicomic epic of Che Guevara in Congo, to the triumph at the battle of Cuito Carnavale in Angola, Cuba: An African Odyssey attempts to understand the world today through the saga of these internationalists who won every battle, but finally lost the war.

Update: The documentary “Cuba, an African Odyssey” is due for general release on 21/01/2008


13 thoughts on “Cuba! Africa! Revolution!

  1. Hello Marcel,

    Thanks for your comment. This programme was in 2 parts and was shown on BBC4 in May 2007. If you are in the UK you will know that many of the programmes that are previewed on BBC4 are shown on terrestrial BBC channels shortly after.

    I recommend visiting the BBC website to check out the latest information on this. The programme is not affiliated directly with bala fria.



  2. Thanks for your kind offer Irina. I will forward your message on to Marcel. I won’t publish your email address to prevent you from being inundated with spam.


  3. Hi folks

    As you can see above, after much waiting, Cuba! Africa! Revolution has finally become available. I have edited the post above to now include the documentary in its entirety. All credit to producer Jihan El-Tahri and BBC4’s Storyville.



  4. Pingback: Our Che « Bala Fría

  5. Sorry, Cuba! Africa! Revolution! was here for a while but it has now been taken off the airwaves. The documentary will soon be available to purchase on DVD.

    Thanks for your visit anyway!


  6. Tio,

    I was wondering if you had a copy of Cuba! Africa! Revolution! somewhere that you could possibly send to me. I know, I’m sure it is a huge file, but if it is at all possible, let me know! I was only able to watch the first few minutes of it before and now its gone. Thanks!

  7. Hey Bam.

    For your info the documentary is soon to be released under the title ‘Cuba, an African Odyssey’ on DVD (21/01/08).

    Alternatively If you can speak german you can watch the documentary in it’s entirety here…

    Part 1 –,-der-Che-und-die-afrikanische-Odyssee-1v2

    Part 2 –,-der-Che-und-die-afrikanische-Odyssee-2v2

    Due to copyright it will probably not be appearing here again for a good while sadly.

    Good luck!


  8. hey im glad my veoh links could help…funny actually i was searching here for info cause IMDB doesnt have it yet, and i saw this…. what a small world huh lol well anyways this is a awesome doc. cant wait for the next one.

  9. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting
    my own weblog and was curious what all is required to get
    setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions
    or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s