Donald Trump’s policy toward Cuba harkens back to the Cold War. Trump has stacked the State Department and National Security Council with Cuban-American hardliners who have turned Latin American policy into a single- minded pursuit of regime change. The Trump administration has launched an unprecedented barrage of sanctions against Cuba that has battered the country’s precarious economy and shattered the détente brokered by former President Barack Obama. Trump recently explained what is driving his policy: the belief that “Latinos” will deliver him an electoral college victory in Florida in 2020.
The outcome of the 2020 US presidential elections could hinge on Trump’s policy toward Cuba. Yet major media outlets have failed to report on his onslaught against the island, not to mention the money and interests driving it. The War On Cuba is a series of 3 films that fills this void, combining rock- solid investigative journalism with stunning cinematography. The episodes document the harsh realities on the ground in Cuba and follow the money in the US.
In We Can’t Vote in Your Elections, Cuban journalist Liz Oliva Fernández shows us the daily impact of US sanctions on the Cuban people. We learn about the roller coaster Cuba has endured over the last five years, from Obama’s opening to Trump’s rollback, and Liz connects the dots between Trump’s policy and the political interests driving it.
Episode 2: The Cuba-Venezuela Connectionshows how the push for regime change in Cuba and Venezuela are interwoven. We see the impact of the US-imposed “oil blockade” on Cuba and the ways in which Cubans are finding alternatives to scarcities caused by US sanctions.
Episode 3: The War on Doctorstakes an inside look at Cuba’s international medical program through which tens of thousands of Cuban doctors are working in dozens of countries around the world, providing free health care to vulnerable populations. Trump has sought to undermine the program, accusing Cuba of “human trafficking” because it receives billions of dollars in foreign currency in exchange for the doctors’ services. Journalist Liz Oliva Fernández speaks to Cuban doctors who have served on “missions” abroad and investigates how US “humanitarian aid” has been used to create slander campaigns to characterize the doctors as “slaves” or “thugs.”
“The War on Cuba makes a lot of complex history and issues easy to understand for an audience that has probably only been exposed to American propaganda.” -Stephen Kimber | Author, What Lies Across the Water: The Real story of the Cuban Five and professor at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia
“the documentary succeeds in countering mainstream U.S. media discourse, which tends to favor the perspectives of the Miami Cuban exile community, particularly by humanizing the toll the embargo takes on Cubans.” – Remezcla
“[The War on Cuba] will tell you a lot about present-day #Cuba, the real Cuba -- and the heartbreaking effect the US embargo has on this small country.”-Oliver Stone, Executive-Producer of the The War on Cuba
About the filmmaker
Liz Oliva Fernández is a Cuban journalist and the presenter of The War on Cuba. She is also the co-founder of Chicas Poderosas Cuba, an initiative that promotes change by inspiring female leadership and gender equality in Cuban society.
Reed Lindsay (Director) is an award-winning journalist and independent documentary filmmaker whose work has been published in more than 20 major newspapers and magazines and broadcast on television news networks throughout the world. Reed won a Gracie Award in 2014, and was co-winner of an Emmy and nominated for a Rory Peck Award in 2011. Reed has been reporting and directing documentaries in Cuba since 2015. He was previously based in Port-au-Prince, Cairo and Washington, DC.