Fall 2008 Cuba and Venezuela Film Series

Sundays •• 2pm

DePaul University, Schmitt Academic Center, Levan 406

All films are in English, or in Spanish with English subtitles.

Schmitt Academic Center is located at 2320 N. Kenmore, near the Fullerton stop on the Red Line.

Sponsored by the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5    773-376-7521 uscubachi@hotmail.com

 Posada Carriles: Terrorism Made in the USA  (2007)         September 21  

      The documentary film series InjerenCIA (Interference) reveals the secret plans and operations that US governments have implemented in Latin America for the past 50 years. This film in the Injerencia series focuses on Posada, called the Osama Bin Laden of the western hemisphere. He is CIA agent guilty of running the secret police torture and assassination unit in Venezuela in the 1970s. He is guilty of blowing up a civilian Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed 73 civilians. He is wanted for various bombings in Cuba and for numerous assassination attempts against Cuban officials. Both Cuba and Venezuela and Panama are demanding his extradition to Panama to be tried for his crimes against humanity in those countries. Presently protected by the US government, he is living freely in Miami. His case exposes both the hypocrisy of the US government’s “war on terror” and its own long history of terrorism in Latin America.

No Volveran: The Venezuelan Revolution Now  (2007)          October 19

  From the makers of the Hands Off Venezuela, this in-depth investigation takes us through the Presidential Elections in December 2006, traveling deep into the shanty towns (barrios), and to several factories under workers’ control, to find out why there is a movement to over-through capitalism, what socialism of the 21st Century is, and how it is changing people’s lives. Community activists show us around their neighborhoods in the barrios to see first hand how difficult life is for the urban poor. Residents tell us how they used to struggle daily against poverty, crime and police brutality. We meet Guadalupe, a member of staff at a new community center, which was formally a police station and a place of repression. She tells us the amazing story of how the surrounding residents joined together, evicted the police force and occupied the building. After a long struggle, with the help of a revolutionary city mayor, they took it over and converted it into their own radio station with education and training facilities. Oscar Negrin along with other activists explain to us how much of this is now possible due to a new revolutionary form of participatory democracy; that of the Communal Councils.

The film makers travel to  Sanitarios Maracay, a ceramics factory under workers’ control.  We attend one of their workers’ assemblies, where we learn more about how the workers take decisions, and how they organize collectively. We also learn more about how they were exploited by the old boss, a supporter of the 2002 coup, who is trying to sabotage their attempt to run the factory on their own. Their campaign for full nationalization is the first of its kind in Venezuela. We follow the workers to Caracas for a dramatic demonstration that marches to parliament and the presidential palace.  It culminates at parliament with a huge crowd of cheering workers that forces members of parliament out to meet Sanitarios Maracay to discuss their campaign. The Bolivarian revolution that is brought to our screens gives us a real insight in the process taking place, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Cuba: An African Odyssey    (2007)   Part 2          November 9

From Che Guevara’s military in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. CUBA, AN AFRICAN ODYSSEY is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for African revolutions. At the very height of the Cold War, Cuba risked the enmity of both superpowers by its unwavering commitment to the principle that Africa should be governed by the genuine representatives of its peoples. To that end they provided invaluable support to liberation struggles throughout the continent. The film focuses on Cuban efforts in Congo, Guinea-Bissau and during the war in Angola. It reveals incredible events that span thirty years, from Che Guevara’s covert mission to avenge the death of Patrice Lumumba, to Fidel Castro’s command of the decisive battle in Angola and the negotiations with Apartheid South Africa that finally ended the war.  We will be showing Part 2, centered on Cuba’s support for Angola in its struggle for independence against the interventions of the US and South Africa, culminating in Cuba’s decisive victory in 1987, 20 years ago today.

Moments with Fidel   (2004)                                                December 14

Since revolutionary Cuban forces toppled the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in 1959, Fidel Castro has embodied the Cuban Revolution. This original documentary from the Cuban Film Archive uses rarely seen, archival footage and audio from  the toppling of Batista in 1959 to 2004, to create a collage of pivotal moments in the history of the Cuban revolution.. The film includes Castro’s

 redefinition of Cuba’s role facing scarcity in the 1990s after the overthrow of the Soviet Union. Hear Fidel addressing millions in Havana about the Cuban people’s struggles for land reforms and increased sugarcane production, and against the threat of U.S. imperialist intervention. Also contains short clips:  My Brother Fidel,The First Delegate, Condemn Me, It Does Not Matter

Now the People Have Awoken: Exploring Venezuela’s Revolution (2007)

January 25

Venezuela sits atop the largest oil reserves in the world, which are being used to foment a new order. President Hugo Chávez, who survived a US-backed military coup in 2002, has supported a number of controversial social programs that have pushed Venezuela onto the United States government, and media, enemy radar. Filmed through the 2006 presidential elections, this is a documentary about the people building a new Venezuela.

 Hugo Chavez and the new Venezuela are experimenting with ways of finding political and economic democracy.  Chavez is regularly depicted as the dictator squandering the wealth of the nation and blocking democratic freedoms. The film gives voice to the people behind the revolutionary process ongoing in Venezuela, filming during the December 2006 elections, and analysts ranging from an exCIA and Pentagon security analyst to Eva Golinger who authored ‘The Chavez Code.’

 The film features commentary on Venezuelan democracy, community councils, co-operatives, politics, amongst other elements of Venezuelan life, including how it relates to US imperialism and how US imperialism relates to Venezuelan social and political life and policy. The film debunks many lies spun by mainstream media outlets based in the US and elsewhere, and offers a balanced portrayal of Venezuela’s recent history.

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