SHAME ON YOU PENELOPE CRUZ AND THE “WASP NETWORK”

In French director Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network,” Penelope Cruz has not only embarrassed herself but has become, wittingly or not, an accomplice and enabler of the brutal Cuban regime.

As an aside, I found it insulting that, without consulting me, I appear as a character in the film.  Mercifully, at least they got my role in this sad saga right from what I hear.

The Cuban-American exiles represented in the film—many of whom are my friends—were not consulted either; nor was their very different view of the Cuban spy network taken into account, if only to create a semblance of objectivity.

From what I have read about the plot—I refuse to pay money to see Communist propaganda palmed off as a “factual” account—it is clear why the director preferred to create a convenient caricature of the Cuban-American community.  He needed a foil to contrast with the heroic Cuban heroes, whose only crime was to protect Cuba from the nefarious terrorist cabal in Miami.

In this film Cuban pilots—the real terrorists—shot down on February 24, 1996, two unarmed and defenseless Cessna airplanes with air-to-air missiles from advanced Russian MIG 29s.  

Why was the “Brothers to the Rescue” organization categorized as terrorist?  Because they sometimes flew “over Havana in an unarmed Cessna… papering the city with pro-democracy leaflets”; and patrolled the straits between Cuba and Key West spotting “balseros” (on rafts) fleeing to the U.S.  Real acts of terror indeed! 


 For the record, the two Cessnas shot down were in international waters.

In those airplanes were four American citizens, depicted as terrorists in the film, who were murdered by assassins who can be heard bragging “we clipped their balls” (“le cortamos los cojones).

Mr. Assayas, I have to ask you, how heroic was that?  

Would that those same pilots had instead faced American F-15s—at least it would have been a fair fight.  I wonder what those Cuban pilots would have exclaimed if they had seen the American fighters coming their way?  I have a good guess—and so do you—but it’s not printable

I have read that Mr. Assayas had a difficult time filming in Cuba.  He even exclaimed that they the film crew got out “by the skin of our teeth.”  Hmmm, I thought you were in the country of heroes?

I also read that he is thinking about editing the second half of the film after he saw it.  Now, that would be something. Perhaps Mr. Assayas plans to reshoot the whole second half, this time having the “cojones” to tell the truth.