The Cuban Revolution, Castro, and Che Guevara in Pop Culture

Today is the 55th Anniversary of the Cuban revolution. For those of you who don’t know, in 1959 Fidel Castro and his allies succeeded in overthrowing then Cuban President Batista, replacing the government. Since then Cuba has been governed by Castro and by his younger brother Raul. For this anniversary here is a list of some interesting references/depictions of the Cuban Revolution, Castro, and Che Guevera in pop culture:

(1974) The Godfather Part II

Michel Corleone (played by Al Pacino) celebrates a festive New Years in Havana when Batista and his government are overthrown.  Batista is played by Tito Alba.

Here is a clip from the movie.

(1987) Guerilla War (US)

The arcade game, released in 1987, features two rebels (specifically referenced as Che Guevara and Castro in the Japanese version of the game) fight their way through an island to overthrow a unnamed tyrannical dictator. The game was released also under the titles “Guevara” and “Revolution Heroes.”

(2000) Before Night Fall

sBefore Night Falls Movie Poster

This movie was based off of the auto-biographical novel of Reinaldo Arenas which chronicles his persecution by Castro’s government for being openly gay. The film features an all-star cast, including Javier Bardem, who was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, and Johnny Depp. The film premiered in North America at the Toronto Film Festival.

(2009) The Godfather II (video game

The Godfather II

More or less along the plot lines of the second Godfather movie, Batista in the video game is voiced by Sergio Gonzales, who hilariously enough voices most of the Spanish speaking characters in the video game.

(2010) Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Opps

Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter video game set within the context of the 1960s and the Cold War. The player is a soldier named Alex Mason working for the CIA, carrying out risky operations behind enemy lines in places like Russia, Cuba, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Kazakhstan. One of these operations includes the attempted assassination of Castro. The game also features a number of other historical characters, including John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.


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