“WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE
Cinema Libre Studio, Written, Produced and Directed by SAUL LANDAU, (2011, 82 min)
WHEN: Sunday January 18, 2015 1:15pm
WHERE: Community Church NY Gallery Room 28 East 35th St. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated
It was a political bombshell to say the least. On Dec. 17, 2014 Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced simultaneously the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba.
The agreement was accompanied by an exchange of prisoners. Those returned by Cuba to America included Alan Gross and a mysterious CIA agent who was mentioned by both presidents but not named by either. Prisoners returned by the US to Cuba included three of the "Cuban Five" a group of spies sent by the Castro government to infiltrate right-wing terrorist organizations in Miami. When the spies turned over evidence of US-based terrorism to the FBI, they themselves were arrested, tried, and convicted in Florida courts while the confessed anti-Castro terrorists live freely in Florida. In addition, Cuba released a so-far undisclosed number of persons viewed abroad as "political prisoners," as it had already done on several other occasions. Both Obama and Castro thanked Canada and the Vatican for the roles they played as mediators.
In WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP film Director Saul Landau chronicles half a century of hostile US-Cuba relations and explores how and why the US obsession with Fidel Castro developed. Starting with the story of the case of the Cuban Five and then working backward in time, key events are traced including the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as the origins of the economic embargo that has yet to be loosened. The film highlights the violent Miami based exile groups formed in the aftermath of the revolution who are responsible for decades of numerous assassination attempts on Castro’s life, acts of terrorism and sabotage, at first backed by Washington, then ignored by the very government that launched a “war against terrorism.”
In the film Landau intersperses personal interviews with historic footage from the early days of the young revolutionary Fidel Castro in the Sierra Madre Mountains to a reunion on the 50th anniversary of the Bay Of Pigs held in Havana in 2001. Many of the people interviewed in the film are from both sides of the isle and speak of the historical events that changed their lives from supporters of Castro to the Miami-based counter-revolutionary forces. Prominent among the Cubans who foster hatred for Castro and his regime are the infamous Orlando Bosch and Luis Posado Carriles responsible for terrorist acts and backed by the CIA.
The Cuban Five were indeed sent by the Cuban government to spy on Miami’s exiled community in the wake of several bombings in Havana, masterminded by anti-communist militant groups wanting to interfere with tourist business and who wanted to portray Cuba as a bad tourist destination. Miami-based groups had different forms of support from the U.S., including the Brothers to the Rescue, a group formed by Miami Cubans who flew small airplanes in efforts to rescue rafters fleeing Cuba or to drop leaflets with information, acts that violated Cuban airspace.
So a new chapter has opened between Washington and Havana that appears irreversable and able to withstand any attempts by the new Congress to close it. But behind the headlines there is a whole history that most Americans are sadly unaware of. Filmmaker Saul Landau takes us on an important step in correcting that.