Cuba! Africa! Revolution!

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

“CUBA! AFRICA! REVOLUTION!”

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

 

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

The above excerpt is taken from a recently released DVD of some of Marvin Gaye’s greatest live performances on TV and film, “Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981,” This live performance comes from the long out-of-circulation 1973 film, “Save The Children” with James Jamerson on bass. Continue reading

The Century of the Self – Adam Curtis

The Century of the Self is an acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Adam Curtis released in 2002.

“The series (below) is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.” – Adam Curtis Continue reading

Democracy Now!

“Today’s world, as we all know, is faced with multiple threats. From whichever angle I look at this menace, I always come to the conclusion that salvation can only come through a profound awakening of man to his own personal responsibility, which is at the same time a global responsibility. Continue reading

Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times

The following film premiered in Tokyo on September 11, 2002 on the first anniversary of the 9.11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The film chronicles the thinking and activism, at that time, of the noted linguist Noam Chomsky, who since the Vietnam War era has been a vocal and consistent critic of the way the United States exercises state power in the world arena. Continue reading

The Orchestrated Attacks on Chávez are a Travesty

The chilling Oliver Stone film Salvador got a rare airing on television this week. It was a reminder of a time when, for those on the left, little victories were increasingly dwarfed by big defeats – not least in a Latin America which became synonymous with death squads and juntas. How different things seem now. Yesterday US Vice-President Dick Cheney came uncomfortably close to the reality of Afghan resistance to foreign occupation. On the same day Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez delivered a mightier blow to the neocon dream of US domination, announcing an extension of public ownership of his country’s oil fields Continue reading

The People or The White House. You decide.

Political rhetoric vs real people and real life in Venezuela. Has the white house propaganda machine spun one tall tale too many? Views on the street from Caracas. Continue reading

Media Burn: Ant Farm

Chip Lord (b1944, USA), Doug Michels (1943 – 2003, USA), Curtis Schreier (b1944, USA)

Excerpts from Ant Farm’s classic video art piece examining and satirizing the media, particularly the impact of television. Continue reading

Socialism and Man in Cuba – Che Guevara

[Letter written to the editor of Marcha, a Uruguayan weekly magazine, early 1965]


Dear Comrade,

Though belatedly, I am completing these notes in the course of my trip through Africa, hoping in this way to keep my promise. I would like to do so by dealing with the theme set forth in the title above. I think it may be of interest to Uruguayan readers.

A common argument from the mouths of capitalist spokesmen, in the ideological struggle against socialism, is that socialism, or the period of building socialism into which we have entered, is characterized by the abolition of the individual for the sake of the state. I will not try to refute this argument solely on theoretical grounds, but rather to establish the facts as they exist in Cuba and then add comments of a general nature. Let me begin by broadly sketching the history of our revolutionary struggle before and after the taking of power. Continue reading

Stealing A Nation

By John Pilger

There are times when one tragedy, one crime tells us how a whole system works behind its democratic facade and helps us to understand how much of the world is run for the benefit of the powerful and how governments lie. To understand the catastrophe of Iraq, and all the other Iraqs along imperial history’s trail of blood and tears, one need look no further than Diego Garcia. Continue reading

The Other September 11th

Coup d’Etat Chile 1973

On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet lead a bloody military coup, backed by the US, to overthrow the democratically elected President Salvador Allende. Allende was a socialist who believed in equality for all people and rights for the poor.

On that horrific September 11th, Pinochet’s troops marched the streets of Santiago, Chile to bomb the Moneda presidential palace (Palacio de La Moneda.) The country’s president Allende delivered a passionate final radio address to his people – before taking his own life as the troops moved in. Continue reading

In Venezuela, Socialism Makes A Comeback

Nobody can quite believe their eyes and ears. More than 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the president of Venezuela has made it abundantly clear that his country is embarked on a socialist revolution. Continue reading

The Truth Game

John Pilger‘s penetrating documentary which looks at world-wide propaganda surrounding the nuclear arms race. Continue reading

Back in the USSR

Part 1 of a 4 DVD Set – Animated Soviet Propaganda

From 1924 to perestroika the USSR produced more than 4 dozen animated propaganda films. They weren’t for export. Their target was the new nation and their goal was to win over the hearts and minds of the Soviet people. Continue reading