Castro’s Spies (2020)

An elite group of Cuban intelligence agents — recruited and trained in the U.S. — are released in America in this film that shows what it’s really like to be a spy. Using never seen before footage from the Cuban Film Institute’s archive and first-hand testimony from the people who actually lived to tell, Castro’s Spies is an intriguing doc about the era of Cold War espionage.

This film tells the true story of the Cuban Five — Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and René Gonzále — agents who were given new identities and sent to Miami to watch over people of interest for the Cuban government.

Meanwhile, their families were told they were deserters and traitors.

In September 1998, the Five were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government and other illegal activities — including failure to register as a foreign agent, which seems like a strange crime when you’re a spy. Three years later, the Cuban government admitted that they were intelligence agents looking at the Cuban exile community, not the U.S. government.

The Five appealed their convictions, which were overturned in 2005, then reinstated shortly afterward. The Supreme Court refused to review their case and it wasn’t until 2014 that the last of the Five was able to return to Cuba.

Directors and writers Ollie Aslin and Gary Lennon have taken footage from the past and mixed it with interviews with the Five, their compatriots and their enemies. This is a story I’d never heard before and I was so interested to learn more about this secret tale.

You can see Castro’s Spies at the following theaters:
Icon San Angelo (San Angelo, TX)
2020 N. Bryant St.
San Angelo, TX 76903

ICON 15 Colorado Springs with ICONIC (Colorado Springs, CO)
1818 Spring Water Place
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Apex Cinema Roswell (Roswell, NM)
900 West Hobbs St.
Roswell, NM 88203

This documentary is also available digitally from Gravitas Ventures.

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