Leftist filmmaker trashes Cuban dissidents

Filmmaker Olivier Assayas is the target of a lawsuit filed by Cuban dissidents, who claim that the leftist director fabricated the truth of their lives to the point of making them unrecognizable in the 2019 Netflix spy thriller Wasp Network.

Chief among Assayas's detractors is Jose Basulto, who is at the center of the drama, on and off screen.  He comes off more as a slimy pimp than a Cuban dissident who founded a humanitarian non-profit called "Brothers to the Rescue."  Here is where Assayas may find himself in murky waters — or, more likely, a litigious sinkhole.

He presents "Brothers" as really a front for a drug-smuggling ring, as opposed to its altruistic aim of Cuban expatriate pilots attempting to help save refugees desperate enough to flee Castro's Cuba on makeshift craft heading across the Straits of Florida.

That isn't the worst of the recasting of "Brothers."  Basulto's portrayal is so complete as a reptilian character that viewers shouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that the Castro dissident is also a "CIA-trained terrorist."

Admittedly, the plot gets a bit murky.  But Basulto and his swashbuckling band of dissidents are unmistakably cast as bombing hotels occupied by tourists and shooting up stretches of Cuban beaches filled with innocent civilians.

Such scenes are being watched around the world on Netflix, the most viewed streaming service to more than 190 countries.

There isn't a shortage of drama, and Assayas might discover that his "reliable source" for the narrative — allegedly based on a true story — will serve as the basis of the defamation lawsuit, according to Basulto's attorneys.

Assayas admits he relied heavily on the "interpretation of history" written by journalist-author Fernando Morais, who has been accused of peddling propaganda for Castro's murderous regime by the well respected civil rights organization Assembly of the Cuban Resistance.  Morais's book, Last Soldiers of the Cold War: The Story of the Cuban Five, is extremely sympathetic to the communist regime and serves as the basis of the "untold story."

Drawing on such "facts," Basulto's attorneys are drafting the complaint to prove one of the most essential points in a defamation suit.  They are alleging that the extent of the fabrication was known to the filmmaker: "These false portrayals of Basulto and 'Brothers to the Rescue' as terrorists ... have absolutely no basis in fact.  [The] defendants have always known that these false portrayals of plaintiffs in the film have no basis in fact."

Ironically, Basulto's short-lived training with the CIA may serve to bolster his case.  He has never denied his hatred of Castro or his CIA-assigned mission to eliminate missiles in Cuba.  The mission was later aborted.

Demonizing the "Brothers" was the goal of the filmmaker, alleges the lawsuit, while whitewashing Castro's 57-year reign of terror.

Admittedly, Assayas falls into step with Morais's sympathies.  He even selects the title to his film, Wasp Network, to serve as a romanticized ode to Castro's "intelligence force."  Fidel himself approved the code name for his Cuban network of spies — who were dispatched to America to infiltrate "terrorist cells."  Many scenes pull at the heartstrings of these brave spies — or "true patriots" according to the script — who have been apprehended by U.S. authorities and incarcerated.

Feeble attempts are made by Assayas to be "fair and balanced" about Fidel's epic economic failures and cruel oppression of Cubans.  For instance, Assayas devotes approximately two minutes of screen time to Castro's horrific act of brutalizing and arresting thousands of Cuban dissenters who in 1994 had engaged in national street protests demanding a democratic society.

If ever Fidel had a cinematic friend glossing over the worst of his crimes, it would be Assayas.

Blink, and you miss the dissident-culprits placed behind Castro's prison bars in 1994, with nary a word of what happened to them after their non–court appearances.  Street protests — erupting on a national scale — are hardly a thing of the past in Cuba.  Food shortages, widespread poverty, and oppressive policies continue.  The largest national protest erupted just last year, with poverty still plaguing most of the population.

If Assayas is taking notes, he may consider a sequel to Wasp Network: he can still enjoy the artistic freedom of trashing dissidents, condemning American governmental agencies, and romanticizing the ideal of communism — all the while being spared the ugly reality of living in Cuba.

Image: Netflix.

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com