Segments in this Video

August 13, 1927: Fidel Castro is Born (02:30)


Born near the village of Birán, Cuba, into a large farming family, Fidel Castro grew to be a diligent student. He took part in an attempt to overthrow dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1947. As a member of the student congress at the Ninth Inter-American Conference he campaigned against the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.

March 10, 1952: Batista Stages a Coup (03:36)

Cuba was considered a playground for prostitution, crime, and corruption. Fidel Castro leads a failed insurrection and is jailed with brother Raul. He is sentenced to 15 years. He receives amnesty a year and a half later.

Fidel Castro's Friendship with Che Guevara (01:26)

Forming the 26th of July Movement. In November 1955, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a doctor, enrolls in Castro's army.

Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement Foments Revolution (03:23)

Castro's small rebel force aboard the yacht, Granma, returns to Cuba. After heavy losses they retreat to the Sierra Maestra to regroup. On New Year's Day, Batista flees Cuba. Castro arrives in the capital on January 8, 1959. The Revolution promises social reform, education, health care, and justice for all.

Fidel Castro's Reforms Strike at United States' Businesses (04:44)

The Agrarian Reform Act and nationalization of oil, businesses and banks alarms the US government and it retaliates. Cuban sugar and alcohol exports are affected. In the Latin American Press Fidel Castro is sometimes referred to as a hero.

Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union (03:02)

The US breaks off diplomatic relations when Castro enters into agreements with the Soviets. Cuba is expelled from the OAS. The US starts an economic blockade, not supported by all Latin American countries. US imperialism is denounced.

Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs Invasion (02:10)

The US is intent on destroying the economy of Cuba and the leadership of Fidel Castro. The attacks stir up anti-American demonstrations and solidify Castro's popularity.

The Cuban Missile Crisis (02:29)

In 1962 Fidel Castro requests military aid from Russia believing the United States is planning another invasion. Khrushchev agrees to withdraw the weapons, but only if the United States pledges not to invade Cuba.

Che Guevara's Attempts to Export Cuban Revolution (02:16)

Che and Fidel share fame as leaders of revolution. Che travels to the Congo and to Latin America. Che Guevara is assassinated in Bolivia in 1967.

Fidel Castro Survives Enmity of Ten US Presidencies (05:33)

Despite fierce economic and military pressure the Cuban Revolution endures. Over the decades, other Latin American governments turn from dictatorship to democracy.

Cuban Economic Woes after Collapse of Soviet Empire (02:53)

Cuba's economy depends on tourism. Thousands of desperate people risk death to leave Cuba by boat. Castro remains obstinate; those who do not agree with Castro are considered enemies, including his own family.

Fidel Castro: Speaker for Economic and Social Justice (02:23)

After more than 40 years of economic blockage, Cuba survives. Castro travels to speak to adoring crowds and political allies.

Castro's Health Fades; Power Handed to Brother Raul Castro (05:01)

For the first time in 47 years Castro delegates power. The state of Castro's health remains a secret. Faithful to his cause to the end, Castro declares to his people that if the Revolution dies, it will be (our) own fault and no other's.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Fidel Castro: History of a Commander—in Spanish with English Subtitles

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The life of Cuba’s Communist leader reveals much about the Cold War, 20th-century Latin American history, and the political and military dimensions of revolutionary movements. This program reaches into all those subjects as it explores the rise and decades-long rule of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. Interviews with Latin American experts—including Argentine columnist Oscar Raúl Cardoso, historian and psychologist Mario Pacho O’Donnell, and Dr. Roberto Quiñones, expatriate son of famous Cuban dissident Dr. Hilda Molina—are included. After outlining Castro’s early years, the film guides viewers through his alliance with Che Guevara, his ascension to head of state, his prolonged reign, and his transfer of power to his brother Raúl. (Spanish with English subtitles, 45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL37145

ISBN: 978-1-60467-600-6

Copyright date: ©2006

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.