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You Must See This New Dramatic Film That Shows the Truth About Communist Cuba

Director Lucy Mulloy should be commended for her remarkable debut Una Noche.

by
Ron Radosh

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September 16, 2013 - 12:05 pm
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Reading Charles Lane’s important column in The Washington Post about a new indie film, Una Noche,(One Night), I promptly rented it “On Demand” on my cable system. It is also available as an iTunes download.

(CLICK HERE to rent and watch on Amazon.com)

Filmmaker Lucy Mulloy is new to the business. This is her first film, and it is now available after premiering at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in 2012, as well as the Berlin Film Festival that same year. Unless you live in New York City where some theaters are showing it, you have to watch it at home.

What Mulloy has done is to reveal the truth about daily life in Communist Cuba, which few Western visitors to Cuba have little understanding of. Indeed, the very week that Mulloy’s film has been made available for viewing, The New York Times Travel section featured two different articles extolling tourism to Cuba, and in effect encouraging its readers to avail themselves of the opportunity to engage in well-managed Potemkin Village tours, in which representatives of Cuba’s tourism industry — controlled by Cuba’s state-security apparatus — guide the gullible Americans to show them how joyous and happy the people are, and how wonderful the regime is that gives its people such a good life. They come back extolling the virtues of the Cuban government, joining in calls to lift the embargo on Cuba, and reporting on how well off things are for the people.

The first Times article informs readers that “those eager to get to Cuba just have to pay, and agree to take part in a busy, highly organized tour with very little free time.” Sure, if you had time on your own, you might wander off and see the parts of Havana that Mulloy shows us, and see how people really live and learn what they really think. When I went there in the mid-1970s, I did just that, and ended up getting arrested and thrown into a local holding cell in a police station for six hours because I took a photo of a giant line in front of a nationalized Woolworth store that had just received a rare shipment of plastic shoes from Eastern Europe.

The second Times article notes that “nearly every major tour company is now jockeying for the hearts and wallets of American tourists.” Why not? The tours cost a great deal of money, the food is reportedly mediocre (perhaps better than when I was there, and it was close to inedible) and you are given little time for any R and R — continually shuttled to one orchestrated activity after another. As they put it, “you can’t simply show up and luxuriate at the beach.”

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Top Rated Comments   
The Communist own Cuba since 1959. A 54 year Stalinist Dictatorship, but Americans love it. Kids wear Che Guevara T-shirts proudly. We elect Marxist to Congress, the Senate, and the White House. Hollywood loves Marxist. So why the crocodile tears for Cuba? The noble Cuban people leave on rafts and after they make it to Miami, because of the Cuban adjustment act, they become legal immigrants and a year or two later they fly back to the Island on vacations. They come to Miami with full knowledge of how the welfare system works. They get food stamps, medicaid, and every benefit available to Americans. The elderly fly directly out of Havana with the government's blessing and once in Miami, they apply for their Social Scurity "Suplementar" for people who have never worked in the USA nor contributed to SS. Nevertheless I am sure there are honest, freedom loving Cubans, only not that many.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...the apologia of the media for the tyranny Fidel Castro created must and will end."

God willing.
But I suspect not. Even when the Cuban nightmare is over, we will be treated to endless stories about how bad the transition out of tyranny is, how perhaps things were not so bad in the old days under Castro. Then, as the true horrors of the Marxist prison come to light, there will be silence.

LEFT means never having to say you're sorry.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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As a landlord of a duplex in Southern California, I had the occasion to rent to an escaped Cuban. He and his Dad took the Express Truck Inner Tube from Cuba to the U.S. several years ago. Loved hearing his warm tales of scrounging for food and then fearing to cook it, knowing their neighbors would smell what they were lucky enough to have found for dinner! Some of the very poor are willing to turn their neighbors in for a little money. Having even a little more than your neighbor can lead to real distress for some in Cuba. Of course this is second hand, and there is no way on earth I care to find out first hand.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I went to Cuba several years ago and yes it is a miserable place for most of its inhabitants, despite its natural beauty and (crumbling) architecture. But although I attended the odd tour, basically I was able to walk around, take taxis and do what I pleased, in Havana and elsewhere. I passed by hospitals which instantly give the lie to the Michael Mooresque view of Cuban health care, and also the nicer neighborhoods where all of a sudden police became much more visible. So altogether not a great nor equitable place, but it's definitely not North Korea with minders constantly escorting tourists and bombarding them with propaganda. Sure if I had taken too many photos of certain places I might have risked getting into trouble, but the description in this article is not fully accurate. And I luxuriated on a beautiful beach quite peacefully.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I also visited Cuba a few years back and had a similar experience. In 2002, everyone I talked to was friendly, and only afraid of the secret police when out dining in a restaurant.

WCWS was right - I was able to walk around and do what I wanted. I could even stay in a person's house (called a Casa Particular) instead of an official hotel.

Local restaurants were terrible, curiously enough regardless of cost. Cheap places were lousy. Expensive places were lousy. I was informed that even the most expensive places had to buy food from the centralized state food purchasing system, and the ingredients were all uniformly awful.

I eventually wound up having my Casa Particular people cook for me, and they bought ingredients from the open market. That got me excellent food at a very reasonable cost, relative to local restaurants :).

I think the difference is whether you visited the country legally or not. I visited illegally (fortunately, I think the statue of limitations on this is long since expired). If you visit legally, you are forced into the tours, and from what I gather they are regimented just as the article describes.

It was fun to visit Cuba. I really loved the people I met. But I never went again. A month after I got back home, I heard Cubans were imprisoned for 20 years for just running a lending library. I decided I just could not support that nasty a regime with my tourist dollars :(.

On the other hand, everyone should see a Communist system at least once, so they can get an idea for how bad it is. It is awful. The people were severely oppressed. But to me they were defiant. Their nasty government had not managed to kill their spirit.

I hope to see a free Cuba in my lifetime. Then I will be sure to return.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regarding the trips the both of you took to Cuba and how they seemed different than North Korea, that's most likely because Cuba made sure the people behaved in such a way that indicated that Cuba wasn't that bad so tourists don't get suspicious, otherwise known as a tourist trap. If you look closely during your trip, you might find a few cracks in the false foundation, so to speak. I know this from the Dupes articles on Breitbart, plus some bits of I think Pacepa's articles. Heck, my own Uncle nearly fell for it in a trip to the USSR sponsored by the Carter administration, but he ended up seeing through it when trying to find a church (I'll give you a hint as to what he saw that caused the proverbial illusion to be dispelled: people in the church scurrying into the shadows like cockroaches being exposed like sunlight due to a man escorting him to the church who they knew belonged to the KGB. Luckily the raids that would have otherwise inevitably occurred did not thanks to my uncle realizing it at the last moment and said that its the wrong church.). If I ever have to go to Cuba, I'm going to simply smuggle myself in and out just to make sure the Castro regime doesn't plan on me arriving, and thus see the full truth of what happened there, the truth the Castro regime is likely to take great lengths to keep secret.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Communist own Cuba since 1959. A 54 year Stalinist Dictatorship, but Americans love it. Kids wear Che Guevara T-shirts proudly. We elect Marxist to Congress, the Senate, and the White House. Hollywood loves Marxist. So why the crocodile tears for Cuba? The noble Cuban people leave on rafts and after they make it to Miami, because of the Cuban adjustment act, they become legal immigrants and a year or two later they fly back to the Island on vacations. They come to Miami with full knowledge of how the welfare system works. They get food stamps, medicaid, and every benefit available to Americans. The elderly fly directly out of Havana with the government's blessing and once in Miami, they apply for their Social Scurity "Suplementar" for people who have never worked in the USA nor contributed to SS. Nevertheless I am sure there are honest, freedom loving Cubans, only not that many.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
WAIT a Minute the Fat beached whale Michael Moore said Cuba provides the best medical care in the world for free- he even took his fat ass to make a movie- sorry a True Documentary called SICKO & won a Canes film festival award, don't you know it has been a secret USG cover up of all the people who DIED swimming to Cuba to live in the Socialist Plantation of Liberal Bliss
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Cuban government treats their citizens like domestic chickens. They give them just enough food, medicine, clothing, and shelter to survive. But they have nothing to live for. What is a kid with ambition to do?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
With or without ambition, what is a kid to do? At least cattle provide milk, meat and leather in return for food and the right to breed.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Cuba es una fabrica de belleza" Graham Greene
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny how the film maker couldn't understand why people would make multiple attempts to leave Cuba any way they could....
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...the apologia of the media for the tyranny Fidel Castro created must and will end."

God willing.
But I suspect not. Even when the Cuban nightmare is over, we will be treated to endless stories about how bad the transition out of tyranny is, how perhaps things were not so bad in the old days under Castro. Then, as the true horrors of the Marxist prison come to light, there will be silence.

LEFT means never having to say you're sorry.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's like in the Bible. To paraphrase, "Let's go back to Egypt where we could eat all the leeks and onions we wanted. Being a slave's not so bad after all..."
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Marilena, you are right. Look at how many people feel nostalgia for Stalin, or Hitler. Funny how people rather have "security" what ever it means, than the uncertainty of freedom.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
And not one those who will write those stories would consider for one moment living in those places.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm often struck by the dichotomy of wealthy NYT owners and writers promoting all flavors of Marxism while living the good life of the 1% or maybe the 10%.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah! But they get free healthcare!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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