Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


‘Castro’s Spies’ (review)

Directed and produced by Ollie Aslin and Gary Lennon, Castro’s Spies tells the story of the Cuban 5, dramatized in the 2019 film, Wasp Network starring Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, and Ana de Armas The five were Cuban intelligence officers, spies to you and me and the US government, who assumed the identities of long dead US citizens of Latin American descent, and carried out operations on behalf of the government of Cuba.

If you are thinking this sounds a lot like The Americans, you aren’t too far off.

In fact, the spies whose stories are told in this documentary all grew up watching a Cuban television show called En Silencio Ha Tenido Que Ser, which translates to “In Silence it had to be Done.” It tells the story of a Cuban spy undertaking missions against the CIA, all while changing names and disguises.

Makes you wonder what Joe Weisberg was watching as a kid.

But it also answers a question I have always had, I wonder if real spies were influenced to become one because of the fictional adventures of one.

In this case at least, it’s true.

But unlike the big screen fictional spies, these live much more mundane lives.

Sent to the US to infiltrate anti-Castro groups, they do this and manage to find low level jobs, one at of all places a US military base in the Florida Keys. It’s a time of great tension when they arrive, with Cuban American groups undertaking what are for all intents and purposes terrorist acts against the Cuban people, and the ever present fear of US military action against Cuba.

The five quickly ingratiate themselves in the Cuban American community, using tales of daring escapes from Cuba to build their bona fides. Nothing like stealing a plane and leaving your unknowing wife behind to set up a great defection story.

Now I am no fan of the Cuban regime and the danger I find with some documentaries are the all too visible biases of the filmmakers. And while the sympathies of the filmmakers are there to be seen, it’s never heavy handed. They leave it up to you to decide who you feel the good guys and the bad guys are.

The five are eventually caught, and imprisoned for their actions. It’s no secret to say they get out and return as heroes to Cuba.

Would it be a good spy tale if they hadn’t? But you are left to wonder, was it all worth it?

Leaving their families behind, risking the arrests that eventually came, and the time in jail, for what remains the status quo.

However the way the story is told, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the study of what people will do when they feel their country is threatened.

And that is a universal story we all can relate to.

Directed & Produced by Gary Lennon and Ollie Aslin
Featuring René González, Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino,
Antonio Guerrero, Jose Basulto, Guy Lewis, Adriana Peréz, Olil Horowitz,, Paul Mckenna,
Jack R. Blumenfeld, Ricardo Alarcón, Keith Bolender,
Fidel Castro, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton


Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Forces of Geek is protected from liability under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and “Safe Harbor” provisions.

All posts are submitted by volunteer contributors who have agreed to our Code of Conduct.

FOG! will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement.

Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content.


In many cases free copies of media and merchandise were provided in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions shared on Forces of Geek are those of the individual author.

You May Also Like


This time, terror comes from below … as well as a new Phantoms [Collector’s Edition] 4K UHD + Blu-Ray combo set arriving on July...


  People online are always talking about how they would never be able to make Blazing Saddles today. This, of course, is true, if...


Experience writer/director John Krasinski’s “heartwarming” (Joey Paur, GeekTyrant) and “hilarious” (Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky) original adventure IF when it arrives to buy or rent...


The trouble is, it’s just not true. This is a movie about how your grandparents were phonies and the city you live in is...