A guide to get the most out of watching this star-studded drama.
For several years, Fernando Gonzalez of the Cuban Five was imprisoned at the federal prison in Oxford, Wisconsin, near Portage. He was sent out of state shortly after hundreds of Wisconsin progressives learned of this fact.
“The Wasp Network” is a motion picture released this past June, available for viewing on Netflix. Starring well-known actors Gael García Bernal, Édgar Ramírez, and Penélope Cruz, it tells the story of the Cuban Five, the five heroic men — Gerardo Hernández, René González, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino — who were unjustly imprisoned in the United States for many years for the “crime” of trying to prevent acts of terrorism against Cuba. The predecessor of this committee, the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, spent many years working for their freedom.
The film portrays some of the Cuban Five’s work in combating terrorism while risking their lives infiltrating right-wing, anti-Cuban groups in Miami. For people unfamiliar with the history of the Five, it may be a bit confusing to follow and to appreciate all aspects of the film. However, there are multiple resources available to fill that gap.
To best watch “Wasp Network”, we highly recommend first watching the documentary “Mission Against Terror,” the original story about the Cuban Five. It can be viewed on YouTube to understand the full and heroic story of the Five. Viewing that film is really the best way to prepare yourself for viewing the “Wasp Network”. Also, this introduction to the case, found on our old website of the National Committee, is well worth reading (there is also a detailed chronology of events which deals primarily with the legal history of the case).
Reactions to the film from members of the Five:
In addition to the background material mentioned above, there have also been two excellent interviews with those portrayed in the film. CubaInformación.tv conducted an interview with Gerardo Hernández and his spouse, Adriana Pérez. An article summarizing that interview in English can be found here (the 53-minute interview itself, in Spanish, can be viewed on YouTube).
More recently, journalist Anya Parampil of The Grayzone interviewed another Cuban Five Hero, René González. The complete interview is extremely interesting and highly recommended, covering a wide range of topics including Cuba’s development of a vaccine against COVID-19, Cuba-U.S. relations, and a broader discussion of the role of imperialism in the world. Click here to view the interview from the start, or here to start with the portion where René discusses the “Wasp Network”.
Courtesy of Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee, Formerly the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five (U.S.) 415-821-6545or firstname.lastname@example.org.