Cuba: Castro vs the World – 4 August 2020 – 4/8/2020 – August 4 – Tuesday – BBC Two

The Armed Struggle
Cuba: Castro vs the World Series 1 Episode 1 of 2

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


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