working script (click to view)

Working document, written by Denise Baden as a basis for the lyrics. Script will change as scenes will be rewritten once songs and lyrics are in place. The final musical will be about 3 hours long with each act about 90 minutes. The acts will stand as self-contained musical sin their own right for those who want to put on a shorter production.

Musical numbers: Songs already written to be incorporated into the script are in green.

Spaces for songs that need to be written are in blue

Contents

ACT 1/MUSICAL 1

Scene 1. (tba)

RADIO ANNOUNCER: General Fulgencio Batista staged a military coup in Cuba today, taking over Havana and the Presidential Palace. Elections are cancelled as Batista takes over Cuba as dictator.

Scene 2 Fidel agitates against Batista

Fidel strides onstage with Raul, Frank and Nico following him.

RAUL: So much for you getting to congress Fidel.

FIDEL: What gets me is the apathy. What did Havana do as Batista drove in with his armoured trucks and troops? Stood by and watched.

NICO: My sister’s boyfriend said you got a good view of the action from his room.

FIDEL: Two wounded guards and a white flag and he’s in. And the people just watch from their balcony as if they were watching a show.

RAUL: All those leaflets we delivered for you – what a waste of time.

Raul waves around an ‘elect Fidel’ leaflet. Frank picks up a paper.

FIDEL: Constitutional rights are suspended. The University has been closed, you can bet you won’t read that in the paper Frank.

FRANK: (reading) It says here that ‘Batista vows to clean up corruption and sort out the gangsters and crooked casinos’.

FIDEL: Yes and look who he’s got to do it…

FRANK: (reads) ‘Batista has called the notorious gangster Meyer Lansky in to improve the reputation of the casinos’.

FIDEL: Talk about putting the fox in charge of the chickens! These casinos are not for Cubans – they are for the Americans. They wouldn’t tolerate it in their own land, so they come here. Our women become their play things and our men their servants.

They walk past a nightclub/casino – the music is pumping out. They see a very stylish woman and her husband walk in. The woman flashes Fidel a look.

MUSIC FROM ‘MOVING LIKE THAT’ BEGINS

RAUL: Hey look, isn’t that Natalia Revuelta?

FRANK: I swear she is the most beautiful woman in Havana.

NICO: She gave you a look Fidel.

FIDEL (pleased) Yes, didn’t she? But she’s married.

RAUL: As are you!

FRANK: Let’s see how ‘cleaned up’ this place is shall we?

NICO: Well now your political career is dead and buried we may as well have some fun.

FIDEL: Yes, it’s all great fun if you’re rich or a gangster.

Scene 3 Party scene in casino/nightclub.

Inside a casino in Havana.

Lots of dancing and gambling and drinking.

Musical number –lively, dancing, party piece. Can make good use of stage props to generate rhythms. For example the shaking of ice in a cocktail and the rattle of the ball in the roulette wheel can all form part of the musical percussion.

It looks great fun but gradually we see the dark side, as girls are being treated with no respect by drunk Americans, waiters are clearly very tired, gangsters firmly take hold of a gambler who thinks he has won. Fidel is disgusted with how the local Cuban girls are being treated by the Americans, and the violent treatment of unwelcome customers.

SONG: “MOVIN’ LIKE THAT”

LANSKY

WELCOME TO MY PARTY

WON’T YOU COME AND HAVE SOME FUN

DRINKIN’ DANCIN’ GAMBLIN’ SOMETHIN’ HERE FOR EVERYONE

A Cuban man tries to enter but he is chased away – only American tourists welcome

WELL OF COURSE JUST ONE CONDITION

GOTTA BRING THAT CASH

THOUGH TO THE OUTSIDER WE MAY SEEM A LITTLE BRASH

BETS ARE RUNNIN’ ROULETTE’S SPINNIN’

BATISTA

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

LANSKY

(handing some money to BATISTA, then shaking hands)

LET’S MAKE A DEAL

BOTH

I THINK YOU’LL FIND THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE!

LANSKY

FRANK SINATRA’S STAYIN’

AVA GARDNER’S HERE NEXT WEEK

BATISTA

IT’S ALL HAPP’NIN’ NO COMPLAININ’ CUBA’S AT HER PEAK

US DOLLARS

MAFIA-

(correcting himself)

TOURISTS, HAVANA’S LOOKIN’ SLEEK

ALL THE MEN

(to the girls)

SUCH A GOOD DANCER

YOU’RE MOVIN’ LIKE THAT

YEAH MOVIN’ LIKE THAT

MOVIN’ LIKE THAT

LANSKY shoves the dancers towards the latest tourist that just walked in. Their job is to ensure he spends!

ROSA

WELCOME TO THE PARTY MISTER

I DON’T THINK WE’VE MET

DANCER 2

COCKFIGHTS! LOTTERY! HORSE-RACIN’!

HOW MUCH WILL YOU BET?

DANCER 3

DID YOU TRY THE RUM?-

OH THANK YOU SURE I’D LOVE A DRINK!

DANCER 4

SMOKE CIGARS? DO YOU PLAY CARDS?

NO TIME HERE TO BLINK

TOURIST

THIS PLACE IS FANTASTIC!

LANSKY

THINK I’D LIKE A NEW HOTEL

BATISTA

FOR A PRICE I’LL FIND A LOCAL WITH SOME LAND TO SELL

LANSKY

AND IF HE WON’T AGREE?

 

BATISTA

WELL HE WON’T REALLY HAVE A SAY

(Back to what’s important)

25 PERCENT OF EARNINGS?

LANSKY

DONE!

BATISTA

(Shaking on it)

THE BATISTA WAY!

(collecting money from the croupiers)

US DOLLARS MAFIA- TOURISTS- RICHER DAY BY DAY

ALL

SUCH A GOOD DANCER

YOU’RE MOVIN LIKE THAT

YEAH MOVIN LIKE THAT

MOVIN LIKE THAT

Instrumental – The Casino is packed now with girls dancing and entertaining the men who are all spending spending spending. The TOURIST, now drunk, tries to rip one Rosa’s skirts off and she gets angry and upset, trying to protect herself. NATALIA REVUELTE watches as FIDEL tries to intervene, RAUL, FRANK and NICO crowd around but the bouncers push them out. NATALIA is watching and is pleased they tried to help. She draws FIDEL close and whispers into his ear and presses her hand against his arm and then remonstrates with the guards as they try to chuck out Fidel and his friends. But NATALIA can’t help and FIDEL and others exit out the back and the dancing continues. LANSKY, throws Rosa out and shoves another girl in the direction of the TOURIST. The party continues. Lots of movement, by the end of the number the audience should feel dizzy. Roulettes spinning, dice being thrown, couples dancing, lights flashing.

ALL

MOVIN LIKE THAT!

MOVIN LIKE THAT!

MOVIN LIKE THAT!

YEAH!

MOVIN LIKE THAT!

Lights dim. Spotlight comes up on Natalia kneeling down at the side of the street comforting Rosa – the dancer/prostitute who was attacked. The dancer is crying and her clothes are partially torn.

NATALIA: Don’t I know you? …Yes from school?

ROSA: I’m desperate, there’s no other work, I’m ashamed for you to see me like this.

NATALIA: Hush, take this.

Natalia pats her pockets, and finding nothing, gives the girl her earrings, then looks up to see Fidel striding off quickly into the distance with Raul running after him.

RAUL: Fidel!

Scene 4 – Fidel as activist

In the background we see a choreographed scene showing shady dealings, police accepting money, protests being violently put down.  Fidel walks on stage with Raul, Haydee, Abel, Melba, Nico and Frank. He talks louder at times to attract the crowd who then follow him.

FIDEL: Nothing has been cleaned up, if anything it is worse than before. This is exactly what Jose Marti predicted. Just as he fought for Cuban independence against Spain last century, we need to fight American expansionism into Cuba before they bleed us dry. They party while the people struggle.

NICO: We need a new Jose Marti, we need to remind Cubans of the ideals he fought for, independence, justice, freedom.

FIDEL: We need revolution.

MELBA: But revolution is so violent.

FIDEL: What about the violence of early deaths from poverty and exploitation?

RAUL: History tells us that strikes, peaceful resistance won’t work against the greed of Batista and the vested interests of the US who back him to represent their interests.

FIDEL: Raul is right. If Batista grabbed power by force, he shall be thrown out by force! We called on the court to overthrow Batista. We tried the courts, and that didn’t work. They asked in what capacity we were appealing.

Music begins under dialogue

(Option to share out lines among characters if too much for one person to learn)

 FIDEL (cont): I said we come in the name of the six hundred thousand Cubans without work;

As Fidel says this, Nico writes ‘600, 000 Cubans without work’ on a banner and hands it to Melba who brandishes it. Nico continues to write banners ‘Take back Cuba’ ‘End the corruption’, ‘Batista out’ and hand them out to Raul and Natalia (who turns up). As the music starts they brandish their banners and walk across stage singing.

FIDEL (cont): the five hundred thousand farm labourers who live in miserable shacks, who work four months of the year and starve the rest, sharing their misery with their children, who don’t have an inch of land to till and whose existence would move any heart not made of stone; the four hundred thousand industrial workers whose retirement funds have been embezzled; the one hundred thousand small farmers who live and die working land that is not theirs, looking at it with the sadness of Moses gazing at the promised land, to die without ever owning it, who cannot love it, improve it, because they never know when a sheriff will come with the rural guard to evict them from it. Now it is time to take back Cuba!

There are 3 marches (men’s women’s and Fidel’s) all waving banners with the slogans included in their part of the song and the idea is that cross past each other diagonally and downstage and when they cross is when the different various strands of the song all come together. It might be complicated to choreograph overlapping marches on stage, but could potentially look great if done well. But if too difficult, then just do as one march.)

FIDEL          

NOW IT IS TIME

CHORUS TO TAKE BACK CUBA

FIDEL TO TAKE OUR CHANCES

TO REUNITE

CHORUS TOGETHER

FIDEL TO SAVE OUR HOMELAND

WE’VE COME SO FAR

FIDEL

BUT STILL THERE’S QUITE A WAY TO GO

FIDEL & CHORUS

FOR OUR CHILDREN, FOR OUR FUTURES, LET US

FIDEL

SHOW BATISTA THAT HE’S NOT WELCOME HERE ANYMORE

END THE CORRUPTION; LET’S SHOW THEM WHAT WE’RE FIGHTING FOR

 

MEN’S MARCH (Frank, Abel, Boris and others)

WE WANT A PLACE TO WORK, A PLACE TO LIVE

RETIREMENT FUNDS TO GROW OLD WITH

BETTER HEALTH CARE, LAND THAT’S FREE

A BETTER WORLD FOR YOU AND ME

NOT CHILDREN DYING EVERY DAY

IF NOT AT BIRTH, SOME OTHER WAY

AND PROSTITUTION? SAVE MY SOUL

WE NEED TO GAIN BACK SOME CONTROL

 

FIDEL’S MARCH (Nico, Raul and others)

A PLACE TO WORK, A PLACE TO LIVE

RETIREMENT FUNDS TO GROW OLD WITH

YOU CAN’T KILL OUR DREAM ANYMORE

NOT CHILDREN DYING EVERY DAY

IF NOT AT BIRTH, SOME OTHER WAY

WE CAN BRING BACK WHAT CAME BEFORE

 

WOMEN’S MARCH (Celia, Haydee, Melba, Natalia and others)

LET US SHOW BATISTA THAT HE’S NOT WELCOME HERE ANYMORE

BETTER HEALTH CARE, LAND THAT’S FREE

A BETTER WORLD FOR YOU AND ME

END THE CORRUPTION; LET’S SHOW THEM WHAT WE’RE FIGHTING FOR

AND PROSTITUTION? SAVE MY SOUL

WE NEED TO GAIN BACK SOME CONTROL

 

MEN’S MARCH (Frank, Abel, Boris and others)

WE WANT A PLACE TO WORK, A PLACE TO LIVE

RETIREMENT FUNDS TO GROW OLD WITH

BETTER HEALTH CARE, LAND THAT’S FREE

A BETTER WORLD FOR YOU AND ME

NOT CHILDREN DYING EVERY DAY

IF NOT AT BIRTH, SOME OTHER WAY

AND PROSTITUTION? SAVE MY SOUL

WE NEED TO GAIN BACK SOME CONTROL

 

FIDEL’S MARCH

WE’LL FIGHT FOR OUR DREAM, WE’LL FIGHT FOR OUR DREAM

SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND CUBANS WITH NO PLACE TO CALL HOME

ALL

FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND CUBANS WITH NO WORK OF THEIR OWN

 MEN & WOMEN

WE’LL FIGHT FOR OUR DREAM, WE’LL FIGHT FOR OUR DREAM

FIDEL’S MARCH

TWO MILLION CUBANS WITHOUT ENOUGH TO EAT

ALL

THREE MILLION CUBANS WHO CAN’T READ OR WRITE

 YOU CAN’T KILL OUR DREAM, YOU CAN’T KILL OUR DREAM

TWO MILLION CUBANS DIE BEFORE THEIR TIME

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND CUBANS VICTIMS OF CRIME

As Fidel speaks the next bit on his own, the marches break up and the crowd gather round in a less organised fashion forming one big crowd

FIDEL

We are the people of this promise land,

Batista took our homes by force,

So we will rebel, rise up from the streets,

Take up arms against the oppression,

End the corruption, rebuild Cuba,

Into a place for our children to thrive.

 ALL

 TEN MILLION CUBANS WITH PROPER JOBS TO DO

 TEN MILLION CUBANS LIVING IN HOMES

 TEN MILLION CUBANS WITH ENOUGH TO EAT

 TEN MILLION CUBANS WHO CAN READ AND WRITE

 TEN MILLION WORKERS WITH RETIREMENT FUNDS

 DOCTORS FOR EVERY TOWN FOR EVERYONE

Batista’s guards appear and break up the march violently. Everyone scatters. Fidel and his march leave the stage and there are scattered groups of people checking each other for injuries and picking up banners that have been broken by the guards. MIRTA (Fidel’s wife) is holding a baby in her arms and looking for Fidel. She stops a group of people.

MIRTA: Have you seen Fidel? Fidel Castro? He’d be with his brother Raul?

PERSON 1: Ah the Castro brothers.

PERSON 2: I heard Batista got him.

MIRTA: What? No!

NICO: No, Fidel is never caught.

PERSON 2: I heard it’s like he’s immortal!

MIRTA: Well he’s not! So did you see where he went?

PERSON 1: I heard he got away and is hiding.

PERSON 2: I heard he’s the new Jose Marti, returned from the dead to finish what he started.

MIRTA: What?

The crowd are no longer interested in her and too busy debating what the truth is among themselves.

PERSON 1: I heard he’s planning revolution.

NICO: (slyly) With Natalia Revuelte.

PERSON 1: But isn’t she married?

PERSON 2: Is he married too?

Mirta is distressed at this mention of Natalia

MIRTA: Yes he is married. To me!

She sees they are paying no attention and walks on.

Option for song ‘La revolucion which Mirta sings as she looks for Fidel. This song is then reprised in scene 12

SONG: LA REVOLUCION (OPTIONAL)

MIRTA

YES, HE LOVES A WOMAN,

NO, NOT ME, HER NAME: LA REVOLUCION

I’M A JEALOUS WOMAN

SHE’S HIS ONLY FUTURE

I RAISE OUR CHILD ALONE, THINKING

IS HE EVER COMING HOME

HE’S HAVING AN AFFAIR?

DOES HE DARE? FIDEL?

 

YES, HE LOVES A WOMAN,

NO, NOT ME, HER NAME: LA REVOLUCION

 SHE’S HIS ONLY FUTURE

ISN’T THAT THE TRUTH!

I AM JUST A MOTHER

WHO HEARS MY CHILD CRY: LA REVOLUCION

YES, HE LOVES A WOMAN

LA REVOLUCION

LA REVOLUCION

FADEOUT

Scene 5: Planning and training for Moncada

Fidel has taken over a café and is talking to the group of people there, while Raul keeps an eye on the door and only opens it to certain people. Nico is there, listening to Fidel with a look of hero worship.

FIDEL: Only the few, the corrupt, the wealthy landowners, those who bow to any repressive regime that preserves their advantage support Batista (stops to hug Frank as he enters). Frank! I’m just bringing everyone up to speed. (Raul lets Boris in). Hola Boris, come in. That is why he did not dare risk an election, that is why he took Cuba by force. That is why we must oust him by force.

Mirta comes in with the baby, and Fidel for a moment doesn’t realise it is his wife and son.

FIDEL (CONT): Come in, but might not be the best place for a baby.

RAUL: (nudging him) Fidel, it’s Mirta!

MIRTA: It’s Fidelito, your son.

FIDEL: Mirta! (tickles baby under chin). Fidelito, my boy.

MIRTA: You don’t even see us anymore, you just see supporters.

FIDEL: Look. Later. I’ll be bac….

Escalante and a couple of his friends try to come in – he has ‘Das Kapital’ by Marx under his arm. Raul opens the door to let them in, but Fidel stops him.

RAUL: Escalante!

ESACALANTE: Hey Raul, ask your brother if we can join the party.

FIDEL: Raul, there’s no point bothering with the communists. (Turns to Mirta who is getting angry). Look, it’s not a good time…

RAUL: (partly shutting the door and hissing back at Fidel) They can help us Fidel.

Fidel shakes his head and Raul shrugs and shakes his head apologetically and shuts the door and the communists drift away.

FIDEL: They’re too bossy – it’s all ‘party this, party that’ – trust me we’ll have taken the Moncada barracks and they’ll still be arguing over the agenda for their next meeting.

BORIS: We’re taking the Moncada barracks?

FIDEL: Of course! Do you think this is all just fun and games? Others talk, we act!

Mirta is fed up and leaves, Fidel doesn’t notice. Naty Revuelte squeezes past Mirta and enters. Mirta moves to the side of the stage and watches them unnoticed.

FIDEL: (he kisses her hand flirtatiously) The beautiful Senora Revuelte. Naty, muchas gracias for the money you raised.

NATY:  Fidel, we need you to liberate Cuba, no one else has the vision, no one else has the guts to take on Batista. I’ve been watching you and I can’t believe you’re not dead. Who else could expose all the gangsters and live to tell the tale?

FIDEL: On behalf of the people, I thank you.

NATY: I know you all think I’m just a rich society lady, but I am Cuban. If you can risk your life to make things better, I can sell my jewellery to help. Just don’t tell my husband.

They laugh

Raul lets Abel, Melba and Haydee in as they come to the door

BORIS: So Abel, you bought your sister?

ABEL: Yes, this is my sister Haydee, and her friend Melba.

Boris seems smitten by Haydee and beckons her over.

BORIS: Encantadora. I’m so pleased to meet you at last. Fidel should we risk such beautiful ladies?

HAYDEE: We are absolutely committed Fidel, we can shoot as well.

MELBA: I can sort out uniforms if you like Fidel?

FIDEL: You are in. The revolution will not be sexist, it will not be racist (starts to stride in full speech mode) this is our dream…

(music could start to reprise the musical number).

ABEL: (aside to Boris) Oh no, you’ve set him off now.

RAUL: Er…Fidel, the weapons?

FIDEL: Yes come in, and pick your weapons.

NICO: Yes! I’ll have the M1

All rummage through a pile of weapons, there are not enough for everybody, and there is a bit of a fight over them. Boris is pleased as he got a big rifle.

ABEL: I’ll have one too. Oh is that the only one?

FRANK: (disappointed) This is a hunting rifle!

BORIS: Better than a water pistol, which is what Haydee has!

Haydee tries and it squirts water over Boris – he grabs it and squirts her back everyone laughs.

FIDEL: Don’t worry, we will build up our stock. We will get uniforms, more men, more weapons, we will train and plan and kick Batista and his henchmen out of Cuba. Hasta La Victoria, patria o muerte.

ALL: Until Victory, homeland or death!

FIDEL: Venceramos. We will win!

Mayflower workshop did a movement section depicting training with weapons in this section. Could work well to this new song.

SONG: TIME OF REVOLUTION

FIDEL

DEAR FRIENDS, WE’RE FACING HER NOW

THE TIME OF THIS REVOLUTION

THE TALKING’S OVER AND DONE

CUBA SEEKS HER LIBERATION

 

TODAY OUR FIGHT WILL BEGIN

WE’LL GATHER WEAPONS WE’LL GET MORE MEN

WE’LL WEAR OUR UNIFORMS

WE’LL TRAIN, WE’LL PLAN, START ALL OVER AGAIN!

 

HAYDEE

TOGETHER WE WILL TRAIN

TOGETHER WE’LL PREPARE

WE WILL ATTAIN OUR GOAL

WE WON’T DESPAIR!

 

ABEL

IF THIS MEANS DEATH OR JAIL

THERE IS NO GOING BACK

WE WILL NOT FAIL

WE’RE PLANNING OUR ATTACK!

 

RAUL

BATISTA’S TIME IS UP!

HE’LL PAY FOR WHAT HE’S DONE

WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL

OUR WAR IS WON!

 

FIDEL

NO MORE INEQUALITY

WE’LL MARCH TO OUR VICTORY

WE MUST RESIST ’TIL CUBA IS FREE!

 

ALL

THE TIME OF REVOLUTION

THE TIME OF REVOLUTION

THE TIME OF REVOLUTION IS HERE!

 

FIDEL

THE TIME OF REVOLUTION IS HERE!

WITH STRENGTH AND DISCIPLINE

WE’LL PERSEVERE, LET US NOT DELAY

FIDEL & RAUL

WE’LL STICK TOGETHER AND

ALL

ABOVE ALL WE WILL NOT LOSE OUR WAY!

During the song, we see Fidel and others coming and going, collecting money, weapons, training, practising cleaning their weapons and target practice. Humour as uniforms don’t fit at all. Fidel and Naty look very close. But we see Mirta his wife and child come along, glare at Naty and give Fidel some sandwiches, and then leave again. We see Haydee and Boris get close. Boris gives Haydee a ring and she kisses him, but then quickly return to their rifle practise.

RAUL: (claps his hands, and everyone in the room stops) We’re ready! Fidel is now going to outline the plan.

FIDEL: Our target – the Moncada barracks. This is a fortress in Santiago de Cuba. Inside is a massive arsenal of weapons. We will break in, take the weapons and use these to arm the population in the East of Cuba. This will create a popular uprising that will spread across the island and bring the Batista regime crashing down. Naty you are in charge of publicity – you must get on the radio and broadcast our success to the population.

RAUL: Yes Fidel, but let’s not jump the gun – tell them the plan.

FIDEL: Right the road to the barracks will be occupied by troops, Raul estimates about 700. We will need transport – Naty what have you got for us?

NATY: You will travel in style, you have 26 American limousines at your disposal.

FIDEL: Excellente. We will leave at 5am precisely on 26th July, all of us. We’ve chosen this day because it is carnival time, we reckon most of the troops will be drunk or on leave. But Frank, Melba and Nico (gestures to them), you will be going to Bayamo barracks to close the road blocking off the military supplies. Abel, you Boris and Haydee will take a team and requisition the army hospital, take over the top floor and shoot down from the windows. Timing is crucial. Kiss your mothers and fathers tonight, put your papers in order. This is dangerous, many of us will not come back alive. Hasta la Victoria. Homeland or death! Patria o Muerte!

ALL: (shout) Patria o Muerte.

FADEOUT – STAGE IS DARK

Scene 6 26th July 1953 – the attack on Moncada barracks

All action is conveyed via sound effects and voice-over.

Sound of crickets and birdsong. Sounds of cars pulling to a halt from left side of stage

HAYDEE (whispers) Abel where are we?

ABEL: I think we made a wrong turn.

BORIS: Whose idea was it to attack in the dark?

Sound of another car centre

MELBA: Fidel will kill us if we don’t get there at the same time they do, we have all the decent weapons with us.

FRANK: Let’s hope they don’t meet any armed guards before we catch up.

Sound of more cars pulling to a halt voices come from right

FIDEL: Where are on earth are Frank’s lot and the weapons?

RAUL: Fidel! Stop! Back up! No it’s too late they’ve seen us.

FIDEL: It’s a military patrol, let’s hope Frank and his lot pick up some weapons at Bayamo.

Frantic barking of dogs

NICO: Damn, those dogs have set off the alarm, Frank grab your gun we’ll have to go for it now.

FIDEL, ABEL, RAUL, FRANK, MELBA, HAYDEE, NICO, BORIS: (together) Let’s go!

Frantic sounds of shooting, cries, smashing glass, dogs barking, running, explosions, panting interspersed with dialogue and shouts on the right hand side.

On the left side of the stage we hear Abel Boris and Haydee

ABEL Now!

HAYDEE: Don’t panic stay in your beds and keep your heads down.

ABEL: Boris to the windows!

Sound of glass breaking and shots

BORIS: I can’t see, is it our lot, Merde, It’s the Guards!

HAYDEE: Where? Here?

Stomping sound, shots.

GUARD: They’re in here! Shoot!

BORIS: Ahhh!

HAYDEE: Boris? Abel?

ABEL: (screams) Ahhh!

GUARD 1: Grab him, take him away.

HAYDEE: Abel!

Sounds on right side and centre of stage

MELBA: They’ve got Abel and Boris!

RAUL: Fidel run for it!

FIDEL: Say nothing Abel, say nothing!

GUARD 1: Grab her!

ABEL: Haydee!

FIDEL: Raul! Where’s Raul?

FRANK: Just run, run!

Scene 7. Torture (this is optional but we recommend inclusion unless very young audience, feedback indicates teenagers and above like it)

Following scene will be sung and set to music

Sound of guns subsides and birdsong increases and lights go up to reveal guards pulling dead bodies off stage. Haydee is tied in a chair scared and crying. We see guards roughly pull Abel off stage, we hear them shout.

The sounds of the guards beating ABEL offstage become rhythmic until they start to chant:

SONG: TORTURE SONG

 GUARDS

SPEAK! YES YOU WILL SPEAK! YES YOU’RE GONNA SPEAK! ONCE WE’RE DONE WITH YOU!

SPEAK YES YOU WILL SPEAK! YES YOU’RE GONNA SPEAK! ONCE WE’RE DONE WITH YOU!

(music continues under dialogue)

ABEL (off-stage): I shall not betray my comrades!

GUARD 1 (off-stage): You will talk, or you will never see them again.

ABEL (off-stage): Kill me, I will not talk.

(now singing)

I WILL NOT BETRAY WHAT I STAND FOR!

I’M PREPARED SO DO YOUR WORST AND MORE!

HAYDEE: (to guard 2) Stop it! Please make him stop it!

GUARD 1 (off-stage): You soon will beg us to kill you, but now when I said you will never ‘see’ them again, this is what I meant.

Sound of Abel screaming.

HAYDEE: (screaming) Abel! Abel!

Silence, then a shot and a thump.

HAYDEE: (sobs) Abel!

GUARD 2: Too late for him now. But it’s not too late for you.

 SPEAK! YES YOU WILL SPEAK! YES YOU’RE GONNA SPEAK! ONCE WE’RE DONE WITH YOU!

SPEAK YES YOU WILL SPEAK! YES YOU’RE GONNA SPEAK! ONCE WE’RE DONE WITH YOU!

Haydee shakes her head.

GUARD 2: Where do you meet?

Haydee just looks at him.

GUARD 2: I’ll ask you one more time. Where do you meet?

Haydee looks away and stays silent.

GUARD 2: Shall we do to you what we did to your brother?

Haydee shakes her head.

Guard calls to the other guard.

GUARD 2: Bring it here!

Guard 1 comes on stage with a serving bowl, he puts it right up to Haydee’s face and makes her look as he lifts the top off. Haydee screams and looks away retching.

GUARD 2: Now tell us – Fidel, the others, where are they?

SPEAK! YES YOU WILL SPEAK! YES YOU’RE GONNA SPEAK! ONCE WE’RE DONE WITH YOU!

SPEAK YES YOU WILL SPEAK! YES YOU’RE GONNA SPEAK! ONCE WE’RE DONE WITH YOU!

HAYDEE: If you took my brother’s eye and he didn’t talk, then neither can I.

I WILL NOT BETRAY WHAT I STAND FOR!

I’M PREPARED SO DO YOUR WORST AND MORE!

Another guard comes in and beckons the other guards over.

GUARD 3: Let her go.

GUARD 1: What now?

GUARD 3: No one’s talking. They’re loyal to Castro, and besides, photos of the bodies have got out. This does not look good. Let her go, maybe she’ll lead us to them.

They untie her and Haydee stumbles off, the guards pull the chairs off stage.

On the other side of the stage, we hear a kerfuffle

Naty in her dark glasses and scarf and a few others stumble on stage. Naty grabs a mike and turns on a tape recorder and makes a radio announcement with Eroica playing in the background.

NATY: This is Radio Havana, borrowed for a moment by followers of Fidel. In the name of our independence hero Jose Marti who so nearly liberated Cuba, we report that Fidel Castro and a band of rebels attacked the Moncada barracks. We have many dead heroes who fought for justice, for freedom from the tyranny of Batista. But Fidel still lives. Support us, support the movement, what will now be known as the 26th July movement.

There are noises off stage and she drops the mike and runs.  

Scene 8. Reunion with Haydee, Melba, Raul and Fidel

Melba is consoling Haydee who is crying. Then the others start to argue.

RAUL: We rushed into this, we should have spent more time planning.

FIDEL: (angry and defensive) So you’d rather be sitting around with your communist friends – just talk talk talk and pointless strikes?

RAUL: Us against how many soldiers? Can’t you see it was an impossible task?

FIDEL: Not at all, if it hadn’t have been for the dogs…

Melba tries to interject to calm them down but they throw off her arm.

RAUL: No what’s impossible is that the mighty Fidel could admit making a mistake!

Haydee starts to cry and Raul and Fidel suddenly lose their bluster

HAYDEE: (sobbing) It’s all become real, politics was just a game, but now it’s real. They shot Boris, and what they did to Abel…..my brother…. they … (she breaks down crying).

Melba makes consoling noises as she puts her arm round Haydee.

FIDEL: You can’t let it get to you.

MELBA: (Indignant) Can’t let it get to you!? Here’s this poor girl (Hugs Haydee close protectively)…what she’s gone thro….

HAYDEE: (pulls herself together and interrupts firmly) I’m not a girl anymore. Fidel’s right, Melba. You can’t let it get to you.

(could have song here showing psychological effects of experience on Haydee)

RAUL: Fidel listen, we’ve lost 9 in battle, and 50, 60 – we don’t even know yet how many they executed afterwards – the rest of us scattered, we hope Frank and Nico got away but they might be dead for all we know…

MELBA: And it’s only a matter of time before we’re caught too, we’ll be thrown in jail. Face it, they’ve won.

HAYDEE: (throws off Melba’s arm furiously) What! That’s not what I’m saying. Is this to be for nothing?

FIDEL: What did you think Hasta La Victoria, Patria o Muerte means? You shouted the slogan often enough all of you. It means Until Victory. Homeland or death. (Persuasively) Think what we are fighting for. We are fighting for the children to have shoes, to have enough to eat, we are fighting for solidarity, for justice, for Cuba to belong to Cubans. And now we fight for those who died. Haydee, now we fight for Abel. What do you say?

HAYDEE: (firmly) Hasta La Victoria.

ALL: Patria o Muerte.

SCENE 9 Batista plots against rebels

Three guards stand to attention as Batista enters to room. Batista strides up and down before the guards barking out questions.

BATISTA: Well?

GUARD 1: We lost 15 soldiers and 3 policemen, and there’s many wounded General.

BATISTA: I don’t care about them, what about the rebels, did you get them all?

GUARD 2: Five were killed in battle and we managed to execute most of the others after.

BATISTA: Only five in battle?

GUARD 3: General, as you ordered sir, we strewed the ones we killed around the barracks, people will think they were killed in battle.

BATISTA: Excellente. Hang on…most?

GUARD 3: Er, well yes just a few got away, no-one really.

BATISTA: Who?

GUARD 2: We did everything we could to find his whereabouts General, everything.

BATISTA: Fidel? Is he one of the corpses?

GUARD 1: Well General we haven’t had time to explicitly identify everyo…

Batista is clearly furious. Music starts.

 

SONG: KILL HIM

 BATISTA

HOW CAN THIS BE

THEY’VE MADE A MOCKERY OUT OF ME

I’LL MAKE THEM PAY

I’M NOT A MAN YOU SHOULD DISOBEY

SEEMS LIKE HE HAS THE PEOPLE

UNDER SOME SORT OF SPELL

I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF FIDEL!

 

FIND HIM

FIND HIM

FIND HIM

AND

KILL HIM

 

TAKING A VOW

TO STOP YOU ONCE AND FOR ALL RIGHT NOW

I STAGED A COUP

IN 33 AND THEN 52

YOU’RE JUST A MERE BEGINNER

YOU’LL NEVER DO AS WELL

I’M GONNA SQUASH YOU FIDEL

 

FIND HIM

FIND HIM

FIND HIM

AND

KILL HIM

 

Short instrumental

 GUARD 3: (spoken over music) Fidel, he’s very popular. In battle is one thing, but now? People might think it is not right

BATISTA

I FEEL NO SHAME

THE THINGS I’VE DONE TO FULFILL MY NAME

I’VE TORTURED MEN

I’VE RIGGED ELECTIONS I WOULD AGAIN

IF THE U.S. GET WIND OF THIS THEY’LL BID ME FAREWELL

I’LL PUT AN END TO FIDEL!

During the song, a spotlight comes up on the other side of the stage to show Fidel, Haydee, Melba and Raul asleep. A guard comes upon them and points his rifle watching them sleep while Batista is singing the final verse.

FIND HIM

FIND HIM

FIND HIM

AND

KILL HIM

Scene 10 Fidel and rebels caught

Batista leaves and the focus is now on the sleeping group with the guard pointing a gun at them. The guard is hesitating. He sighs, adjusts the aim and tries again but doesn’t shoot.

FIDEL: I know why you can’t shoot me.

The guard starts surprised.

GUARD 3: You’re awake!?

FIDEL: For the same reason we don’t try to assassinate Batista.

Fidel is speaking calmly with no sign of fear but the guard is looking behind him and then at Fidel, ill at ease

FIDEL: There’s no point. In the corrupt American playground Cuba has become, another just like him will pop up.

GUARD 3: There’s a price on your head, why aren’t you afraid?

FIDEL: Because you can’t kill an idea. If you kill me, then, well Frank will take my place. (less calm) Frank! Frank Pais! Is he still alive?

The others start to wake and watchfully stay quiet.

GUARD 3: Yes, I think so. I would have heard if he’d been killed.

FIDEL: So this has to be played out until Cuba is finally free, this has to be a revolution by the people until Jose Marti’s dream of a just, independent Cuba is realised. It is their dream, not just mine. I see you are an intelligent man. I see you know this.

The guard hesitates, his rifle still pointed at Fidel, but then he dashes it down.

GUARD 3: You’re right, you can’t kill an idea. You’d better come with us. Others are looking for you too. The safest thing is if we escort you to jail, they won’t openly execute you without a trial.

Scene 11 The trial

Guards march Fidel into court where there is a judge and prosecutor and crowds on the benches. Fidel is pulling on lawyer’s robes that are far too short, and his arms stick out of the sleeves.

GUARD 1: What are you doing with those robes? I mean how did you even get hold of them?

FIDEL: I shall defend myself.

GUARD 1: Oh my Go…

JUDGE: I understand that you mean to defend yourself?

FIDEL: I do your honour.

JUDGE: You stand before the court on the charge of treason, how do you plead?

FIDEL: Not guilty your honour, on the basis tha…

JUDGE: (puts hand up to hush Fidel) First we will hear from the prosecution, then you shall present your defence.

Mirta, Nico and Frank are whispering at back of court

MIRTA: He’d know that if he’d spent more time practising law rather than politics.

FRANK: I guess he thought politics was more important.

MIRTA: Well it doesn’t pay the bills. How does he expect me to provide for our son if he goes to jail?

NICO: Shhh!

PROSECUTION: Fidel Castro is charged with breaking article 148 of the Social Defense Code for having conspired to illegally overthrow the Batista government. There are hundreds of witnesses testifying to the fact that Fidel Castro has publicly taken full responsibility for the armed attack on the Moncada barracks, with the aim of overthrowing the Batista government through armed revolt. We ask that for his role in leading this insurrection that Fidel Castro be sentenced to 26 years in jail.

JUDGE turns to FIDEL.

JUDGE: You may now speak

FIDEL: Thank you your honour.

Music starts.

FIDEL (cont.): The prosecutor wishes to throw me in jail for 26 years on the basis of a two minute speech. Don’t think that my speech will be so short.

SONG: HISTORIA ME ABSOLVERA

FIDEL intersperse rhythmic speech underlaid by music with sung verse.

FIDEL

On what planet does this prosecutor live?

He’s no source for his evidence, no proof to give.

The injustices occurring on our land, each day it’s getting so much worse it’s out of hand.

In this trial there is one perpetrator.

It’s Batista, our country’s dictator.

I won’t be silenced my message is pure.

You can put me away but my words will endure!

 

CHORUS

CONDENADME, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME ABSOLVERA

CONDENADME, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME ABSOLVERA!

 

FIDEL

It’s the despotism that we must resist.

And our constitution states that our rights do exist.

Now my most important mission will begin, to discredit the treacherous lies of this regime.

I have evidence of their repulsive crimes.

For our people, these are the very worst of our times

 

FIDEL & CROWD

I/HE WON’T BE SILENCED, MY/HIS MESSAGE IS PURE

YOU CAN PUT ME/HIM AWAY BUT MY/HIS WORDS WILL ENDURE!

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA!

 

Crowd in the court room cheers and hoots. As FIDEL continues his speech, the crowd begin a simple merengue group choreography, in complete unison. The idea is that the whole room, apart from prosecutor and judge, are all in agreement that FIDEL represents them all. The movements will be simple yet precise.

 

FIDEL

And I honour you judge but I know

you’ll be forced to condemn me that’s how it will go.

I repeat what has been proclaimed, when our leaders are tyrants they need not be obeyed.

Call me dreamer but I firmly believe

what Jose Marti started it’s up to us to achieve

 

FIDEL & CROWD

I/HE WON’T BE SILENCED, MY/HIS MESSAGE IS PURE

YOU CAN PUT ME/HIM AWAY BUT MY/HIS WORDS WILL ENDURE!

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA!

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA!

 

BATISTA

(Shouting) Enough!

Music stops suddenly.

Batista confers with the prosecutor and they approach the judge. The guards empty the court and all the people file out leaving only the judge, Fidel and the prosecutor. As the radio announcement is made we can see Fidel has started speaking again but we can’t hear him.

RADIO ANNOUNCER: There was a blackout on the trial of Fidel Castro this afternoon as it was decided to continue the case in private. Rumours are that in this trial roles were reversed. Those who came to accuse Fidel Castro found themselves accused, and it was Batista and his henchmen who found themselves judged for their torture and corruption and looting of funds.

Percussion starts up again

Fidel goes up to the judge to speak to him privately in a loud whisper.

FIDEL: I have spoken much (the judge nods wearily). I honour you for I know you would like to be an honest judge. But I know you will be forced to condemn me. I want you to know I forgive you.

JUDGE: (incredulous)  Er?

FIDEL: (turns round to face the room and speaks louder so everyone can hear) I do not fear prison, as I do not fear the fury of the miserable tyrant who took the lives of 80 of my comrades. Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.

Music starts up again suddenly for one last chorus altogether. The whole room in unison singing and doing the same choreography.

ALL

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA!

 

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA

CONDENADME/CONDENADLE, NO IMPORTA

LA HISTORIA ME/LE ABSOLVERA!

Scene 12 Prison

A jail scene with Raul, Roberto and several prisoners in a room filled with books. Fidel is lounging on a bed writing a letter.

FIDEL: Call the guards will you?

The prisoners start drumming Cuban rhythms using what they can find. A guard comes clanking along the corridor and opens the door.

GUARD 2: What’s all this din?

FIDEL: We need some lemons.

GUARD 2: What do you think I am? Your personal servant?

FIDEL: I think you are a Cuban who has decided to serve the dictator who serves the interests of our colonial oppressor.

GUARD 2: (bemused) No I work for the government.

FIDEL: And who is the government?

GUARD 2: Batis…, oh I see what you mean! But I’m not, I don’t….

FIDEL: And we are the heroes who risked our lives to free Cuba from the yoke of colonial imperialism.

RAUL: (waving the book ‘Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals’ around) Kant says everyone has the moral imperative to stand up against injustice…

GUARD 2: OK, OK, I’ll get some fruit.

The Guard rushes off and Fidel starts holding forth to the other prisoners and handing out books.

FIDEL: So Raul have you finished Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals yet?

RAUL: Look it’s hardly a quick read.

FIDEL: Well hurry up, the revolution needs a moral core. Who did Marx?

ROBERTO: Yes, I’ve finished.

FIDEL: Excellente. Now read this.

ROBERTO: (reads title) ‘Thomas More’s Utopia? What about Jose Marti?

RAUL: Yes a Cuban revolutionary.

FIDEL: All out. I’ve asked for 10 copies of our very own national hero. Yes we shall finish what he started all those years ago, complete Cuban independence and social justice.

RAUL: We need a name.

ROBERTO: The Jose Marti…

FIDEL: Yes! No, we’ll call this group the Abel Santamaria Ideological Academy.

ROBERTO: Brilliant Fidel.

RAUL: Yes exactly right

Fidel nods in head smugly in gracious acknowledgement of his brilliance and continues.

FIDEL: Now when we get free we will not just rebel against what is wrong, we have the knowledge and time to reflect on what is right.’ (starts pacing thoughtfully) Now my speeches will really mean something (adds hastily) not that they didn’t before.

RAUL: Thank God for that, your speeches are certainly long enough (others laugh).

FIDEL: We are forming a brotherhood in solidarity, we can work out our plan…’

The prisoners start using whatever is around them to generate Cuban rhythms. We hear the sounds of a guard clanging along. They all pause and stop drumming as the guard unlocks the door.

The guard returns and hands them a massive basket of fruit.

GUARD: Here you go, now enough about Colonial oppressor all right (mutters as he wonders off) I’m Cuban, not some puppet to be pushed around.

FIDEL: That’s more like it. We have enough for a cocktail now.

The prisoners fall upon the fruit – Raul takes a cherry, Fidel seeks out a lemon. They start drumming again but Fidel puts his hand up to stop the drummers

FIDEL: In deference to our Colonial Oppressor, and our lovely guard we shall have ourselves a colonial cocktail.

(they all laugh and Fidel conducts by waving his hand about and big band music comes in)

SONG: COLONIAL COCKTAIL

FIDEL THIS WORLD’S LIKE A COCKTAIL OF POLITICAL CALAMITY

RAUL A CHERRY ON THE HANGNAIL

ROBERTO AND A SLICE OF SOUR DEPRAVITY

FIDEL I WANT YOU ALL TO LISTEN, NOW THAT WE’RE IN

ALL WE’RE LISTENING

FIDEL

WE HAVE TO SHAKE A THEORY ON THE LIVES OF TODAY

TO LET HISTORY ABSOLVE ME, WE NEED A DECENT RECIPE, SEE

ALL COCKTAILS AND POLITICS CAN BE INTERTWINED

FIDEL A MARTI MARTINI TO LOSE THE GROUND BENEATH ME

RAUL

ADD MARX AND ENGELS TO THE TASTE

ROBERTO

A PERFECTLY PLACED HINT OF GOOD OL’ LENIN

RAUL

NOW WE’RE ALL IN HEAVEN

FIDEL

THE CUBAN REVOLUTION NEEDS A FRUITY SOLUTION

RAUL

SIX SPOONS OF SOCIALISM, STIR IT LIKE IT’S A COFFEE

ROBERTO

MIX IN THE JOSE MARTI AND IT’S AS SWEET AS TOFFEE

FIDEL

            TAKE THE PASSION OF OUR FATHERS

ALL

CHECK!

FIDEL

THE BENEVOLENCE OF OUR MOTHERS

ALL

CHECK!

AND SEASON LIBERALLY WITH THE LIKES OF FIDEL

FIDEL

WE’LL MAKE THE PERFECT COCKTAIL

RAUL

            ONCE WE’RE OUTTA JAIL

ALL

BATISTA WILL NOT KNOW WHAT’S COMING HIS WAY

FIDEL

            A MARTI MARTINI TO LOSE THE GROUND BENEATH ME

RAUL

ADD MARX AND ENGELS TO THE TASTE

ROBERTO

A PERFECTLY PLACED HINT OF GOOD OL’ LENIN

RAUL

NOW WE’RE ALL IN HEAVEN

FIDEL & RAUL

THE CUBAN REVOLUTION NEEDS A

ALL (EXCEPT FIDEL & RAUL)

FRUITY SOLUTION

FIDEL

A COLONIAL COCKTAIL

ALL (EXCEPT FIDEL)

THEN WE’RE OUT OF JAIL

FIDEL

COLONIAL COCKTAIL

ALL (EXCEPT FIDEL)

THEN WE’RE SETTING SAIL

FIDEL

COLONIAL COCKTAIL

ALL (EXCEPT FIDEL)

THEN WE GET THE BAIL

FIDEL

COLONIAL COCKTAIL

ALL (EXCEPT FIDEL)

WE WILL NEVER FAIL

FIDEL

COLONIAL COCKTAIL

ALL

WE WILL NEVER FAIL

FIDEL

COLONIAL COCKTAIL

AND THAT’S HOW I KNOW THAT WE WILL NEVER FAIL

 

Scene 13 Letters home

Frank, Nico and Mirta are reading Fidel’s letter.

FRANK: It sounds pretty bad (reads) ‘it is so hot, food is cold, dragged up at 5am’, whinge, whinge, ‘hunger strike’…

NICO: Can’t imagine that lasting long knowing Fidel.

FRANK: (scanning through the letter) No he says just a day was enough to achieve his aims… although he doesn’t say what his aims are. Ah he mentions a food pack from Celia and asks who this wonderful Celia is who sends him canned meat and chocolate bars.

MIRTA: Yes Frank, who is this wonderful Celia?

FRANK: She is wonderful, she is helping organise behind the scenes for Fidel’s release (sees Mirta’s frown). Look she hasn’t even met him.

NICO: She knows everyone, she’ll be a real asset.

MIRTA: Hmm. Look read it out properly, every word.

FRANK: (reads) ‘The guards hate me, but I did eventually win one of them round, and he turned out to be quite nice, which is how I got some lemons’.

MIRTA: Lemons? Fidel hates lemons!

FRANK: (reads) ‘it’s not all bad, due to having kicked up a couple of times…’

NICO: I can believe that! He’s not one to take things lying down.

MIRTA: (interrupts impatiently) Get on with the letter! Does he say anything about me and little Fidelito?

FRANK: (reads) ‘due to having kicked up a couple of times I was put in solitary for weeks’,

MIRTA: So is he still in solitary? Oh my poor Fidel!

NICO: I bet he’s fine he always is. He’ll finally get time to catch up on his reading.

FRANK: Yep! (reads). This is the perfect opportunity to muster my thoughts. ‘Now I’m back with the others I’ve set up a reading group.

NICO: Trust Fidel to turn prison into a camp for revolutionaries.

MIRTA: Just skip ahead, where does he mention me? Do you think he knows about my admin job in the government?

NICO: If he did, you’d have definitely heard about it!

FRANK: That’s it, he just says he’s run out of paper and love to all.

MIRTA: (grabs letter) If he’s short of paper why has he left the big spaces between each line?

FRANK: (shouts) Lemons! Mirta, grab the iron, he’s written between the lines in lemon juice, we’ll see it if we iron it.

MIRTA: Why do you ask the only woman to do the ironing? Come the revolution, Fidel has said there will not be sexism.

FRANK: OK, OK, I’ll do the ironing.

MIRTA: (starts ironing) No I’ll do it, maybe this bit is about me, maybe he wants to write some sexy stuff, you know too hot for the guards? (reads slowly) ‘We’ll start in the mountains and build up our forces’ What about me and Fidelito? ‘blah blah blah…This is how I plan to revolutionise this country from head to toe’ (angrily throws down letter). He says nothing about me! I am his wife, he’s left me to fend for ourselves and all he talks about is books and his precious revolution. Give me a pen I will write my own letter.

(she sings as she writes).

SONG: LA REVOLUCION

MIRTA

YES, HE LOVES A WOMAN,

NO, NOT ME, HER NAME: LA REVOLUCION

I’M A JEALOUS WOMAN

SHE’S HIS ONLY FUTURE

 

I RAISE OUR CHILD ALONE, THINKING

IS HE EVER COMING HOME

HE’S HAVING AN AFFAIR?

DOES HE DARE? FIDEL?

 

YOU’RE BUSY IN THAT PRISON

PLOTTING, PLANNING, ‘VIVA LA REVOLUCION!’

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?

DO WE MATTER STILL?

 

YOUR LETTERS SUGGEST NO!

WITH NO LOVE LEFT TO SHOW

NO MENTION OF OUR NAMES!

STAY THE SAME FIDEL!                  

 

BUT LIFE IS EVER-CHANGING

I LOST YOU LONG AGO

TO LA REVOLUCION

NOW I WORK FOR BATISTA

 

We see Fidel open the letter and read it in prison and Fidel joins in the song so they are singing simultaneously but independently on opposite sides of the stage

 

FIDEL

WHAT! SHE WORKS FOR BATISTA?!

 

MIRTA & FIDEL I THOUGHT THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!

FIDEL NOW I LOVE JUST ONE WOMAN

MIRTA YES, HE LOVES A WOMAN,

 

FIDEL/MIRTA PRAISE AND SING HER NAME: LA REVOLUCION

/NO, NOT ME, HER NAME: LA REVOLUCION

 

SHE’S MY ONLY FUTURE/ SHE’S HIS ONLY FUTURE

SHE’S MY ONLY TRUTH/

ISN’T THAT THE TRUTH!
FIDEL

FROM AFAR A MOTHER

MIRTA I AM JUST A MOTHER

 

FIDEL/MIRTA HEARD HER CHILDREN CRY: LA REVOLUCION/ WHO HEARS MY CHILD CRY: LA REVOLUCION

YOU THIEVES AND CRIMINALS/ YOU’RE NO HUSBAND TO ME

YOU BUNCH OF US PAWNS/ YOU CARE NOT IF WE STARVE

YOU DREAM SLAYERS AND NOW YOU/ YOU CARE ONLY NOW I WORK

WORK FOR THE DICTADOR/ WORK FOR THE DICTADOR

 FIDEL NOW I LOVE JUST ONE WOMAN

MIRTA YES, HE LOVES A WOMAN

FIDEL & MIRTA

LA REVOLUCION

Fidel and Mirta both throw the letter down angrily at opposite ends of the stage and shout

FIDEL/MIRTA: That’s it, our marriage is finito!

Scene 14: Release of prisoners, pressure to release Fidel

Melba and Haydee are let out of prison and are greeted by cheers from the crowd.

RADIO ANNOUNCER: Melba Hernandez and Haydee Santamaria have been released from the women’s jail for their part in the attack on the Moncada Barracks. Pressure is now building for the release of Fidel Castro.

Nico, Frank and Celia hand Melba and Haydee banners. They pick up the banners with ‘Free Fidel’ on them and start organising a march along the street. Melba and Haydee pause to be interviewed by a man with a microphone and a camera.

MELBA: We went to Moncada moved by a sacred love for freedom and we are ready to give our lives for its principles.

Crowd cheer

HAYDEE: We have here ten thousand copies of a pamphlet Fidel managed to smuggle out of prison called ‘History will absolve me’ He talks about our dream of Cuban independence (crowd cheer), reinstatement of the Cuban constitution (crowd cheer), rights of workers to receive share of profits (crowd cheer). He vows to take back all the property stolen by the corrupt Batista regime and share among the poor (crowd cheer).

Melba leans in to add her bit

MELBA: Yes and reform land rights, so ordinary Cubans own the land they work, and people are no longer exploited by foreign powers (crowd cheer).

HAYDEE: Fidel will hold those fraudsters and murderers to account (Crowd cheer even louder and Haydee throws the pamphlets into the air and the crowd pick them up). Free Fidel!  Free the prisoners! Gradually a chant breaks out among the cheering crowd).

CROWD: Free them! Free them!

We see the crowd walk towards the National Capitol Building of Havana waving banners and protesting. Batista and his Guards are watching from the balcony. Batista consults with his guards.

BATISTA: Free them! Issue the order, we will free them.

GUARD 1: (surprised) Really General?

BATISTA: They are gaining support all the time. We can’t get rid of them in jail, it would look…suspicious. Once they are free it will be easier to take care of them. (Batista lifts his arms up to catch the crowd’s attention). We will free them!

(crowd cheer)

Fidel, Raul and others emerge to great cheers.

CROWD: Viva Fidel! Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Fidel Castro!

We see protestors being beaten by Batista’s guards, shady dealings in back alleys, guards with guns harassing the population. People handing out leaflets and then being taken away by guards. The street clears to leave Frank and Fidel sitting on steps chatting.

FRANK: Look you have to leave Cuba. You know they only set you free to be able to kill you more easily.

FIDEL: I know Frank, and I have already sent Raul and Nico to Mexico, but I will not run like a cowardly dog. I have made vows to liberate Cuba and I won’t let the people down.

FRANK: No one could doubt your courage Fidel. But in Mexico you will be safe, you are no use to the people dead.

FIDEL: I need to regroup my forces, build up weapons.

FRANK: You could do all that from Mexico. Even your hero, Jose Marti, went into exile in Mexico before returning to fight for Cuban independence.

FIDEL: You are right! I shall do as Jose Marti did. I can train my men, build up weapons and then come back with a proper trained army.

FRANK: I can keep up the pressure here while you’re gone. Also we can rely on Celia to ensure you have a safe welcome.

FIDEL: The wonderful Celia, who I have yet to meet, who sent me chocolate and books. Frank tell me, who is this angel?

FRANK: She is the doctor’s daughter from Oriente region. She is totally committed and will recruit the help you will need when you land, for we can be sure you will have a welcome also from Batista and the Rural Guard!

Fidel gets up and starts pacing and people notice him and start to gather around and shake his hand.

FRANK (cont): Just lie low, don’t even let them know you’re going, and as long as they don’t know when you will return…

FIDEL: (proclaiming to the crowd that has gathered) I am leaving Cuba because the chance of peaceful resistance has been closed to me. Six weeks after leaving prison I am convinced more than ever of the dictator’s determination to remain in power, ruling by the use of terror and crime. But the patience of the Cuban people has its limits and as a follower of our hero Jose Marti I believe the hour has come to demand our rights and not beg for them (crowd cheers). I must leave Cuba, but I promise you I will be back before the year of 1956 is out to liberate Cuba.

Frank shakes his head smiling

CROWD: Viva Fidel! Viva la Revolucion! Viva Cuba Libre!

SONG: VIVA CUBA LIBRE

 ALL

VIVA CUBA LIBRE

VIVA CUBA LIBRE!

VIVA FIDEL CASTRO!

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

LOOK WHAT THEY’VE DONE

DRIVEN HIM OUT

BUT WE KNOW HE’LL RETURN

WITHOUT A DOUBT

WE’VE COME THIS FAR NOW

HE WON’T LET US DOWN

WE’LL WAIT

WE ARE THIS CLOSE TO VICTORY!

PERSEVERANCE!

VICTORY!

ALL THAT YOU’VE DONE

NOW YOU MUST GO

BUT YOU’LL BE BACK

THAT’S ONE THING WE KNOW

WE’VE COME THIS FAR NOW

HE WON’T LET US DOWN

WE’LL WAIT

WE ARE THIS CLOSE TO VICTORY!

REVOLUTION WILL BE OURS!

Scene 15 Fidel meets Che Guevara in Mexico

Mexican music plays. In a room Nico, Raul, Che Guevara, Camilo, and Isabel are sat around. Che and Camilo are playing dominos. Nico is strumming the guitar. Isabel is reading a magazine.

NICO: Che, Fidel should be here soon. I can’t wait for you and Camilo to meet him.

ISABEL: Fidel’s your brother isn’t he Raul?

RAUL: Surely you must know that, everyone knows Fidel.

CHE: I heard about the Moncada barracks.

CAMILO: So I get he’s coming to Mexico to lay low, but where is he now?

RAUL: He’s nipped across the border to raise some funds.

ISABEL: You can’t just nip across the US-Mexican border!

RAUL: Fidel said something about swimming across the Rio Grande.

ISABEL: Ridiculous! He sounds a bit full of himself to me!

RAUL: (smiling) He kind of is.

(Che and Camilo finish playing dominos)

NICO: Fidel is a great political leader, you will see.

CHE: Shall we eat soon?

ISABEL: Or we could go out to eat?

CHE and CAMILO: Yes, sounds good.

NICO: Let’s wait to see what Fidel wants. Honestly, you’ll love him.

Possible song about Fidel!

CHE: Sure Nico, that’s all very well, but we’re hungry.

ISABEL: He can join us later.

NICO: But Fidel may have plans…

CHE: Look it’s arranged. You may worship him Nico but he’s not going to push us around.

CAMILO: Well he won’t push me around.

CHE: I’ve got my own problems here without getting involved in a revolution in Cuba.

ISABEL: Anyway people don’t like revolution. It upsets the economy.

Fidel barges in. Like a whirlwind he greets everyone, dumps his stuff, raids the fridge and shoves a sandwich in his mouth while talking.

FIDEL: The economy? For those peasants who have no land, the economy does not exist. (Fidel dumps his bags and hugs Raul) Raul!  For the railworkers, the dockers, the textile workers, bus drivers and workers from other sectors for whom Batista has reduced their salaries, the economy does not exist.

NICO and RAUL: Fidel!

FIDEL: (hugs Nico and Raul) Nico! Raul! Hola.

CHE: I totally agree my friend.

RAUL: Fidel this is Ernesto Guevara We call him Che, he’s from Argentina. This is Camilo Cienfuegas, and Isabel.

Fidel shakes their hands while dumping his stuff.

FIDEL: Hola. Good to meet you.

RAUL: How are things in Havana?

FIDEL: Don’t worry Frank has got Havana covered. He’s organising strikes, Celia – did you ever meet her? I haven’t met her, but she’s a treasure I know that already, she will plan our return.

CHE: We’ve heard all about what you’ve been doing.

FIDEL: I’ve been doing a lot. I met Alberto Bayo.

ISABEL: How did you get into the US?

FIDEL: Swam!

RAUL: General Bayo?

CAMILO: Who fought in the Spanish Civil War?

FIDEL: Yes General Bayo. He’s agreed to train our troops.

CHE: I didn’t know you had troops?

FIDEL: Well no not yet, but I told him we plan to go back to Cuba and defeat Batista. And he asked if we had a ship, or money, or men, and obviously I had to say no not right now, but we will. So I told him the plan for me to go to the United States to raise money and gather more men (Fidel is pacing as he talks and he stops right by Che and looks him right in the eye, and leans in as if to tell him a secret). Ernesto, or Che, do you care? Basically there are two types of men, those who care and those who don’t. Do you? (Che nods). Right you’re in.

RAUL: Fidel, back up, General Bayo, he’s in Mexico?

FIDEL: Yes. I told him he had an absolute duty as a Cuban to help. And he said ‘young man, you want to move mountains with one hand.’  (Fidel looks at Camilo) You look like a fighter? (Camilo nods). Any weapons? (Camilo shakes his head). OK find some. Still we need more men (as he paces again he looks at Isabel) and women, we don’t discriminate (he stops by Isabel and looks closely at her). You have beautiful eyes, you know that?

NICO: You mean General Bayo has agreed to help us?

FIDEL: He said ‘OK Fidel, when you have recruited your men, and when you have collected the money to feed and dress and equip them and buy ships to transport them to Cuba. Yes I will instruct them the guerrilla tactics I learned in Spain.’

CHE: Sounds to me like he thinks it’s a promise he won’t have to keep.

RAUL: Then he doesn’t know Fidel!

FIDEL: So we have little time. I told him in a few months when I have the funds and the troops and the weapons, I shall come back and we shall organise military training. So we need to work fast, let’s get together pamphlets, supplies, papers.

Che looks at Camilo and shrugs resignedly with a smile and they all get on with helping Fidel.

ISABEL: (in a small voice) But we were going to go out to ea… Oh never mind! Fidel, are these the pamphlets you need?

FIDEL: (reads and throws down) No these are out of date, we need to build on our ideas, make them more concrete. (Paces). We need new pamphlets, we need to work our ideas together and (Fidel suddenly pauses right by Isabel and draws her close)… But you are right, beautiful eyes, we need to know what we are doing. We are not mindless brutes, we need to develop our dream. But we can’t dream on an empty stomach – let’s go!

Fidel sweeps out of the door and everyone rushes to follow him. They walk down the streets and the sounds of Mexico are heard as bands of musicians follow them. As they walk they sing and dance and then settle into a bar and order food as they debate politics.

NICO: What is happening in Cuba is the same as across Latin America…

CHE: …and Africa, the imperialists get rich off the backs of the poor, and they will not tolerate any reform, whether democratically elected or not.

NICO: So now we fight.

FIDEL: I realised in prison it is not enough to fight for what we don’t want, we must fight for what is right, we need not just to gather money, troops and weapons, we need to make  a revolution for the people, by the people.

CHE: Then you are a communist.

FIDEL: No I do not admire Stalin.

CHE: He has made many mistakes, but don’t mistake the man for the idea.

FIDEL: True, true, I have read Marx, and Lenin, they have many great ideas.

RAUL: You cannot treat the pure doctrine of Marxism as just a building block for your own fidelista idea of revolution.

FIDEL (to Che): You see Che, my brother is a much better communist than I. From Marx, yes we get the evolution of society. But I get my ethics from Jose Marti – ethics as a mode of behaviour is essential. But we don’t have time Che my friend. For every day we take to overthrow the government, Batista’s troops are killing more of my countrymen, looting the wealth. Every week we spend here, another child dies early from malnutrition, another person from diseases we could easily cure if we cared to. I promised my countrymen we’d be back before 1957 to liberate Cuba, I must keep my promise, will you help?

CHE: Well… I…

SONG: REVOLUTION BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE

CHE

TRAVELLED AROUND FAR AND WIDE

I STUDIED MEDICINE, CHESS, POETRY AND MORE

I WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE FOR PEOPLE OF LATIN AMERICA

FIDEL

IT’S TRUE THEY’RE BEING EXPLOITED

FOR THEIR LABOUR AND RESOURCES-

CHE

CONSISTENTLY WE ARE DEPRIVED

IT’S JUST THE SAME AS GUATEMALA LOOK WHAT THEY’VE DONE

I TRIED TO MAKE A CHANGE

PERSUADE THEM TO REVOLT

NICO

BUT THAT PROVED DIFFICULT-

CHE

AND SO WE’RE HERE I’D LIKE TO HELP I WON’T STOP FIGHTING ‘TIL WE’VE WON

ALL

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

JOIN THE FIGHT

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

FIDEL

BUT-

CHE

(Interrupting, grabs FIDEL and starts to tango with him!)

THEY SAY YOU’RE ONE OF A KIND

SOME SAY YOU’RE BRAVE,

ISABEL

NAÏVE
 

CHE

A HERO OF RIGHTS

FIDEL

(spoken) naive?

ISABEL

TO THINK IT ONLY TAKES A FEW MEN, A HANDFUL OF RIFLES

TO BRING BATISTA DOWN; LOOK AT HIS ARMY, TANKS AND WEAPONS

CAMILO

YES BATISTA MUST BE KILLED!

CHE

NO HE’S A LIKE A WEED, YOU CHOP IT OFF ANOTHER GROWS

BATISTA MUST BE STOPPED

CAMILO

WE WANT JUSTICE WE MUST FIGHT

FIDEL

YES WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR LANDS

CHE

I BELIEVE YOU ARE THE FUTURE

CHE & FIDEL

IT’S AGREED LET US UNITE!

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

JOIN THE FIGHT

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

CAMILO

BUT FIDEL I HAVE MY DOUBTS

IF PEOPLE HEAR US SAY WE’RE COMMUNISTS THEY’LL BE AFRAID

RAUL

(grabbing CAMILO for a dance, following CHE’s steps)

BUT MY FRIEND YOU MUST HAVE FAITH

FIDEL

WE’RE FIRST AND FOREMOST FIGHTING GREED

OUR CHILDREN HAVE NOTHING TO EAT

SOCIAL INJUSTICE IS WHAT THIS IS ABOUT!

(The whole room is dancing the Tango now- all same sex couples!)

CHE & FIDEL

(Singing at the top of their lungs and getting really carried away)

 WE WILL REJOICE IN CELEBRATION THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT

YES MY FRIENDS WE HAVE A CHANCE

OUR FIGHT IS ONE BIG DANCE

TOGETHER WE SHALL TAKE THIS REVOLUTION AND ADVANCE

(Everyone has stopped dancing and is looking amused at FIDEL & CHE)

ALL

LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A BRO-MANCE!

Laughs all round as song ends.

CHE: I am Argentinian not Cuban, but first I am Latin American – the problems that affect Cuba are caused by colonialism and oppression, what affects Cuba affects all of the Americas – yes if your people will accept me I will help.

(Drinks arrive and they all clash glasses)

ALL: Viva La revolution!

 

INTERVAL

 

Scene 16 Fidel and his men return to Cuba on the Granma

Fidel, Che, Camilo, Nico, Raul, Roberto and Isabel and others are loading weapons onto a decrepit old boat.

ISABEL: (Horrified) Is this the boat? It’s a deathtrap.

ROBERTO: There’s no way we’ll all fit on this.

FIDEL: Look it’s the best we could do in a hurry. We had a tip off that Batista’s men have put pressure on the Mexican authorities, they’re after us, we need to leave now.

CHE: Don’t worry, we’ll make it over.

FIDEL: (To Isabel) Hey beautiful eyes, are you sure you won’t come with us?

ISABEL: And be the only woman on a boat of 82 men that is designed for 20? Fidel, I adore you, but I’m sorry, I can’t (she starts to sob). Take care Caro!

Fidel embraces Isabel.

FIDEL: Listen, get in touch with Frank and Celia. I estimate our journey will take 3 days, it is crucial we get the timing right. Tell Frank to set up the diversions on the 30th November and tell Celia to have people waiting on the coast for our arrival.

ISABEL: Will do.

Fidel turns to address the rest.

FIDEL: So men we are ready! We have weapons, we have troops, we have a boat… kind of. We sail back to Cuba, the marvellous Celia will guide us to safety and then we will overthrow the government, liberate Cuba.

ALL: Patria o Muerte!

All climb into the boat which is ridiculously overcrowded and wobbles precariously.

The men sing Viva throughout next few scenes i.e. the men on the boat chant it in the background while boat is swaying and this subsides to a tired chant by the end when they are all hungry, thirsty and seasick. Just change tempo and dynamics to reflect different scenes. I think we should see them upstage in the boat and the “Viva” chanting should reflect the journey whilst watching Celia downstage delivering the toys and ‘preparing’ their arrival, then the police HQ, back to Celia waiting, etc. The ‘Viva’ music dies down to allow for the other songs.

Scene 17 Celia Sanchez organises helpers to guide Fidel and his men to safety in the mountains.

Celia goes round knocking on doors, as people open the doors, Celia hands over a bag of toys and whispers messages to each person before knocking on the next door.

CELIA: (to Enrique) Here are your toys for Christmas (then whispering) ‘Fidel is coming.’ Wait for my word, then look out by the beach, show him the way.

CELIA: (to Mongo) Fidel is on his way back. Are your men ready?

CELIA: (to Manual) If you see Fidel and his men tell him to head for Mongo’s in the mountains.

SONG: LA PALOMA

 MONGO

 CELIA SANCHEZ DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

COUNT YOUR LUCKY STARS YOU KNOW HER

TIRESOME FRIEND, HER LOVE FOR US IS DEVOUT

 

MANUEL

BRIGHTENS UP THE DULLEST NEW YEARS

 

ENRIQUE

LIKE A DOVE RELIEVES OUR FEARS

  

MONGO, MANUEL & ENRIQUE

 SHE GIVES US HOPE

SHE TAKES AWAY ALL OUR DOUBT

 

ENRIQUE

 CELIA SANCHEZ DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

OW SHE’S WORKING UNDERCOVER

WHY’D SHE HAVE TO GET INVOLVED WITH ALL THAT

 

ALL

 LA PALOMA OUR SYMBOL OF HOPE

OUR LITTLE BIT OF STRENGTH

THE PEOPLE’S FAITHFUL FRIEND

MARIPOSA, SHE COLOURS OUR SKIES

A FLOWER IN HER HAIR

TO LET US KNOW SHE’S THERE

 

MONGO

 CELIA SANCHEZ DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

WE’LL DO ALL WE CAN TO HELP HER

RISKING LIFE AND LIMB TO BRING FIDEL BACK

 

MANUEL

 CELIA SANCHEZ SANCHEZ DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

KEEPING THE WHOLE PLAN TOGETHER

HER AND FRANK HAVE GOT THIS WHOLE THING ON TRACK

  

ENRIQUE

CELIA SANCHEZ DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

IF THEY CATCH HER THAT MEANS TORTURE

DOES SHE KNOW THAT SHE’S IN REAL DANGER NOW?

 

ALL

 LA PALOMA OUR SYMBOL OF HOPE

OUR LITTLE BIT OF STRENGTH

THE PEOPLE’S FAITHFUL FRIEND

MARIPOSA, SHE COLOURS OUR SKIES

A FLOWER IN HER HAIR

TO LET US KNOW SHE’S THERE

Scene 18 Police HQ – warrant out for Celia’s arrest

 A member of the Rural Guard is reporting to Batista

GUARD 3: General. There are uprisings all over. In Santiago they set fire to the police headquarters and emptied the prisons.

BATISTA: This means Castro and his men are on the way. He must have people waiting for him. Issue the order: We’re tightening the grip on the media.  Anyone even suspected of insurrection is to be arrested on the spot.  For every officer they’ve killed, ten civilians will be shot.

GUARD 3: Ten?

BATISTA: Find them, find who’s been absent. Bring them in, make them talk then kill them. We must make it clear what happens to those who help the rebels. And the ring-leader of ground operations, there can be no doubt now, bring in Celia Sanchez.

GUARD 3: (aghast) Celia, the doctor’s daughter?

BATISTA: And I don’t care if her daddy fixed your daddy or she put a plaster on your knee when you were a boy, bring her in – dead or alive. Oh, and release news that Castro is dead.

The guard leaves, but he sees Mongo outside and whispers in his ear.

GUARD 3: (sings reprise)

CELIA SANCHEZ DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

TURNS OUT SHE IS QUITE THE FIGHTER

GOTTA GET SOMEONE TO WARN HER, BUT HOW?

Scene 19 Sailing back to Cuba

Fidel, Raul, Che, Camilo, Roberto and Nico are on boat (+ others) Nico is at the wheel. Everyone on boat is being sick and moaning.

CAMILO: I need water.

ROBERTO: I’m hungry.

RAUL: You just threw up the last of the food.

CHE: We’re out of water, we’re out of food, get over it!

CAMILO: (to Che) Who asked you Argentino?

FIDEL: Che is right. Did you think this would be a picnic?

The boat tips precariously and Roberto falls overboard with a big splash. There is panic as they try to find him.

FIDEL: Stop the boat! Back up we have to find him.

(everyone shines torches and yells into the sea)

ALL: Roberto!

CHE: Fidel, we must not lose any more time, if we are late, all the plans for a diversion will fail.

FIDEL: (shouting to Nico) Turn the boat around! The tide would be taking him that way.

CHE: Fidel! For God’s sake! We may lose many more men by arriving late. Roberto is lost, we are a day behind already.

FIDEL: We keep looking.

NICO: Fidel is right!

CHE: That is all you ever say, ‘Fidel is right’, ‘Fidel is right’. We need to get on.

RAUL: Fidel is our leader, Che, you don’t contradict him.

FIDEL: (angry) Take note Argentino…

CAMILO: Look, there!

There’s a shout, as Camilo spots Roberto. They haul him in.

FIDEL: Roberto, you idiot, get back on board.

ROBERTO: Fidel, thank you, you saved my life. I thought you wouldn’t wait.

FIDEL: (to Nico) Nico, get us back on course as quick as possible.

NICO: I’m sorry, with all the turning, I don’t know where I am.

Scene 20 Celia waiting but no Fidel.

This scene is split with Celia wondering what is happening to Fidel and his men one side of the stage, while we see Fidel and his men land and get shot on the other side of the stage.

Celia is waiting in her room, pacing and smoking. While she is singing we see Fidel and the boat land. They look around puzzled, clearly not knowing where they are. They seem to argue amongst each other. Eventually Fidel climbs out of the boat and everyone follows him. They try to walk carrying his weapons and bags but the terrain is difficult as it’s a mangrove swamp and they keep falling over as they cannot carry it all and keep their balance. Fidel indicates to the men they have to leave behind their weapons and many are reluctant so he takes the lead and just keeps one rifle and one back pack and starts walking. Raul is clearly not happy and tries to carry more but falls over and Fidel admonishes him, poinitng at the sky and making it clear they need to rush and Raul finally leaves the weapons behind and just takes one. They all reluctantly leave much of their stuff behind and start to follow Fidel, walking precariously over the mangrove branches.

They are clearly all uncomfortable, Nico indicates his new boots are hurting, Camilo tunrs his water bottle upside down but its empty and tries to take a sip from the water round his feel but spits it out in discugust. Fidel urges them on as fast as possible. They get to the end of the swamp and start of sugar cane field. Fidel scans the horizon, shrugs uncertainly, there is a huddle as they discuss, then Fidel points towards mountain and they all follow him at a trot.

SONG: LET THEM BE SAFE

CELIA

 HAVE THEY BEEN SEEN BY THE COASTGUARD?

HAVE THEY BEEN CAPTURED AND KILLED?

I’M GOING OUT OF MY MIND

OUR MISSION IS NOT YET FULFILLED

WHY IS THERE NO NEWS AT ALL?

THEY SHOULD HAVE LANDED TODAY!

ARE THEY ALIVE? WILL THEY MAKE IT?

HAS THE BOAT DRIFTED AWAY?

 

ALL I ASK

LET THEM BE SAFE

ALL I HOPE FOR

LET THEM BE SAFE

WE’RE ALL WAITING ON YOUR EIGHTY-TWO

WE’RE ALL PUTTING OUR FAITH IN YOU

 

SOON WE’LL BE ROUSING SUSPICION

THE ARMY ARE HOT ON OUR TRAIL

EVERYONE’S ABSENT FROM WORK

IF THEY NOTICE THE WHOLE PLAN WILL FAIL!

OUR MEN WILL ALL BE ARRESTED

IT’S JUST TOO BIG A RISK TO TAKE

BUT IF THEY ARRIVE AND WE’RE GONE

IT’LL BE MY MOST HORRID MISTAKE

As Celia starts the next verse, things turn bad for Fidel and his men. Aircraft are heard above and bullets hail down on them. Soldiers appear and start chasing them Everyone panics and scatters, they turn round to fire back at the soldiers. As they run, many are shot down, some are dead, but the injured start crawling towards the canefield. It is mayhem. Fidel and Nico find each other and briefly converse looking round to see where everyone else is. There is a sudden blaze as the sugar cane is set on fire. Nico runs off, but then gets shot down as Fidel watches. Fidel is distraught and we see him mouth ‘Nico!’. Fidel then turns round as he hears Che shout in pain as he Che is shot and falls to the ground. Fidel was about to go to Nico but then runs up and squats by Che. Che lies back exhausted. Roberto runs up but is shot and falls down by them and dies in front of their eyes. Che shakes his head and motions for Fidel to go on. Fidel shakes his head and rummages in Che’s bag for a bandage to stop the bleeding from Che’s shoulder. Camilo runs up to join them and tries to prop up Che while carrying his rifle in the other hand. Che looks at his doctor’s bag and the box of ammunition can’t carry both, he decides on the ammunition. They limp as fast as they can as fire and smoke rages behind them. Fidel is looking round for Raul. There is more sound of aircraft and gunfire and a flash of light and we see mor emen fall to the ground then it goes dark with smoke as Celia finishes the song.

ALL I ASK

LET THEM BE SAFE

ALL I HOPE FOR

LET THEM BE SAFE

WE’RE ALL WAITING ON YOUR EIGHTY-TWO

WE’RE ALL PUTTING OUR FAITH IN YOU

 

WE’VE PLACED OUR BETS ON THIS MAN

I’VE NOT MET HIM YET HOW CAN I KNOW?

WILL HE RID OUR COUNTRY OF TYRANNY

LEAD US WITH FREEDOM AND JUSTICE IN TOW?

DON’T BE A FLOP LIKE THE OTHERS

PLEASE YOU JUST HAVE TO COME THROUGH

WE’RE COUNTING ON YOUR ARRIVAL

I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO!

 

ALL I ASK

LET THEM BE SAFE

ALL I HOPE FOR

LET THEM BE SAFE

WE’RE ALL WAITING ON YOUR EIGHTY-TWO

AND I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO

WE’RE ALL PUTTING OUR FAITH IN YOU!

At the end of the song, after the flash of light and aircraft noise and smoke subside. Celia puts on her coat and hurries out. She walks into the busy square and the Rural Guard are there with guns looking for Celia. On one side of the square Mongo spots Celia’s brother, Manuel and hisses to him.

MONGO: Manuel, about your sister.

MANUEL: Celia?

MONGO: Warn her, they’re going to bring her in, find her quick tell her to lie low.

Manuel nods and walks through crowds looking for Celia but they walk by each other without noticing. Celia walks through swing doors into a bar ‘La Rosa’ and greets Enrique the bar tender (he has white t shirt, blue jeans, blonde quiff – cool and young)

CELIA: Hi Enrique.

ENRIQUE: Hi Celia. You’re looking especially lovely…

Enrique notices two uniformed men approaching and he turns to Celia quickly but it’s too late. The two military men grab Celia and push her down into a chair.

GUARD 1: Sit her where people can see her, we’ll see who she is coming to meet.

GUARD 2: Celia Sanchez. Sit down here.

Once Celia is caught, reprise song in a minor key:

GUARDS

CELIA SANCHEZ, DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

YOU’VE BEEN DOIN’ WHAT YA DIDN’T OUGHTA

THINK YOU’RE CLEVER

WHO CAN HELP YOU NOW?!

Enrique, the bartender drops a bottle, the smash distracts the guards and Celia runs for her life, with the guards after her. One guard turns back and shoots Enrique dead.

Celia cries out when she sees Enrique dead and then makes a run for it with the guards chasing her.

Scene 21. Fidel is reunited with the others

Birdsong in the background. Fidel is trudging up the mountain on his own, looking out for the others. Fidel sounds for the first time forlorn and uncertain

FIDEL

I CLIMB THIS MOUNTAIN ALL ALONE

BUT I CAN’T MAKE IT ON MY OWN,

OH PLEASE, BRING THEM ALL BACK TO ME

 

A LEADER MUST ASK, “DID I DO WRONG?”

I’VE MADE MISTAKES, WAS I TO BLAME ALL ALONG?

I’M FINDING IT HARD TO STAY STRONG…

I REALLY HOPE WHEN I

 

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

WILL YOU ALL BE THERE?

WE CAN DANCE, SING AND SMILE

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

 

I DREAM, I HOPE, I PRAY…

 

WE’VE LOST OUR GUNS, HOW MANY MEN

AND YET WE SPENT SO MUCH TIME TRAINING THEM…

HAS BATISTA WON AGAIN?

 

SO MANY LIVES LOST IN VAIN,

BUT WOULD I DO THE SAME AGAIN? I WOULD!

I’D DO IT ALL AGAIN!

AND SO I HAVE TO

 

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

YOU WILL ALL BE THERE,

I WILL NEED YOU BESIDE ME

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

 

DON’T LET GO OF OUR HOPE AND FIGHT FOR LOVE,

HOLD ON TIGHT AND RISE ABOVE

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

YOU WILL ALL BE THERE,

I WILL NEED YOU BESIDE ME

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

Fidel meets a local peasant and stops him

FIDEL: Have you seen any others on this mountain?

PEASANT: No. but it’s a big mountain.

FIDEL: I am Fidel Castro, you don’t by any chance know where I should be going?

PEASANT: (excited) Fidel Castro! You have come! The radio tells everyone you are dead, but I said to my wife, Fidel cannot be dead, he simply cannot. (He takes Fidel by the hand and leads him to a spot and points up). Celia said…

FIDEL: Celia, Celia Sanchez? Is she still alive, I worried so much she would be putting herself in great danger.

PEASANT: We are worried also, we heard she had been captured, then we hear nothing, but she has many friends, she might be in hiding. Now Mr Castro, see that tall tree there? Behind that and past the stream, you will see a small road, there is Mongo’s place. Celia said you should go there.

The peasant hears something and looks nervous, and starts to walk off.

PEASANT: I must go, sorry, if they see me help you… is not just me, they will… my wife, my daughter. Look take this, my lunch, for you and thank you Fidel, I will spread the word you are alive.

FIDEL: Thanks.

The peasant thrusts a sandwich at Fidel and runs off, Fidel starts munching and walks on.

Fidel continues sounding uncertain, but gradually his natural optimism asserts himself and he sounds more certain and optimistic

I CLIMB THIS MOUNTAIN ALL ALONE

BUT I CAN’T MAKE IT ON MY OWN,

OH PLEASE, BRING THEM ALL BACK TO ME

 

IS IT DOWN TO ME SO MANY DIED?

LOYAL NICO AND THOSE WHO’VE BEEN AT MY SIDE

I NEED MY MEN TO SURVIVE

I’LL NEED THEM WHEN I

 

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

WILL YOU ALL BE THERE?

WE CAN DANCE, SING AND SMILE

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

 

I DREAM, I HOPE, I PRAY…

WE MAY HAVE LOST SOME GUNS AND MEN

BUT IF I LIVE I’LL TRAIN AN ARMY OR TEN!

BATISTA’S LOST AGAIN!

 

CAN’T HAVE LIVES LOST IN VAIN

IF WE’RE TO STOP WHO’S TO END THIS PAIN?

WE MUST, BRING JUSTICE TO THOSE THAT REMAIN!

I KNOW THAT WHEN I

FIDEL

 

RAUL

 

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
YOU WILL ALL BE THERE,

 

WE WILL ALL BE THERE
I WILL NEED YOU BESIDE ME

 

WE’LL BE BESIDE YOU

 

FIDEL (uncertain if he’s heard right)

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

FIDEL: Raul!

RAUL: Fidel!

FIDEL: How many guns do you have?

RAUL: Five

FIDEL: I have two, so that makes seven. Now we’ve won the war!

They continue to walk

FIDEL & RAUL

DON’T LET GO OF OUR HOPE AND FIGHT FOR LOVE,

HOLD ON TIGHT AND RISE ABOVE

FIDEL

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

YOU WILL ALL BE THERE,

I WILL NEED YOU BESIDE ME

Che and Camilo join in verse walking up the mountain and they are glad to see each other. They all climb and sing.

RAUL, CHE, CAMILO

CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN

WE WILL ALL BE THERE,

WE WILL FREE CUBA

FIDEL

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

They see a sign to Mongo’s and cheer. We see Mongo in the distance waving a bottle in one hand and food in the other. They walk towards him while singing the final chorus jubilantly.

MEN

DON’T LET GO OF OUR HOPE AND FIGHT FOR LOVE,

HOLD ON TIGHT AND RISE ABOVE

 

FIDEL

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

WE WILL ALL BE THERE,

WE WILL FREE CUBA

 

FIDEL

IF NOT NOW THEN SOON I SWEAR

They all meet Mongo and swig drink and eat and cheer.

FADEOUT

Scene 22 Battle near La Plata

It is evening and the soldiers (Raul, Che, Camilo) led by Fidel are walking through the mountains carrying their rifles on their backs.

Sound of a jeep pulling up with Celia, Haydee and Melba. Haydee and Melba lift up their petticoats to cheers from the men and supplies fall out. They all grab at the supplies. Haydee and Melba. Raul and Fidel embrace.

MELBA: Fidel, we found you at last!

HAYDEE: Fidel! Raul!

FIDEL: Haydee! Melba! We shall have a women’s battalion!

HAYDEE: Where is Nico?

FIDEL: Nico!

Fidel angrily turns away and his glasses fall off. He stamps on them angrily. Raul shakes his head in warning. Celia climbs down from the jeep. She rummages in her bag and hands Fidel a new pair of glasses. He recovers himself as he takes them.

CELIA: We can’t have our leader unable to see!

HAYDEE: Fidel, this is Celia Sanchez.

FIDEL: Celia! Thank you. At last I meet you.

CELIA: Fidel! So many times we were told you were dead, and I never believed them.

FIDEL: Celia, everyone, meet Ernesto Guevara, we call him Che. He may be Argentinian, but he has revolution in his soul. And Camilo. Don’t believe a word he says!

CELIA: Che I have medication for you.

CHE: Thanks.

Celia hands stuff to Che

CAMILO: (flirting with Haydee and Melba) How did you get past the rural guard?

HAYDEE and MELBA: Like this!

The girls bat their eyes and stick their chests out to demonstrate

CAMILO: I see!

MELBA: Come on Haydee, let’s get changed.

Melba and Haydee disappear to get into their combat uniforms

FIDEL: (to Celia) By the way, any cigars? (Celia hands him cigars with a flourish)

FIDEL: Celia, wonderful Celia!

 A farmer comes up them

EUTIMIO: Hola. Are you Fidel? I have a letter for you.

Eutimio hands Fidel a screwed up note

FIDEL: It’s from Frank. He says Celia is alive – yes we know! And he’s recruited more men and women and is just training them before sending them up.

RAUL: Any word on weapons?

FIDEL: No mention of weapons. We shall get some more ourselves. (Turns to farmer) What is your name?

EUTIMIO: Eutimio.

FIDEL: Eutimio, where are the nearest barracks?

EUTIMIO: The army barracks are just over there.

FIDEL: How many solders?

EUTIMIO:  There are just 15 soldiers in the barracks, but watch out for Chicho, he works for the plantation, everyone is terrified of him and Chicho keeps it that way. You do what they want or (makes a sign across his neck). You’ll kill Chicho? (hopefully)

FIDEL: It’s nearly dark, best not waste time. Everyone grab a weapon and follow my lead.

Everyone grabs a weapon, Celia and Haydee both try to pick up the same gun, but there isn’t enough so Haydee offers it, but Celia shakes her head and grabs a stick. The group walk along the path where Eutimio had pointed and approach the barracks. They spot Chicho staggering slightly drunk towards the building. Eutimio points to Chicho.

EUTIMIO: That is Chicho Osario.

Fidel beckons for the women to stay back and Fidel steps out authoritatively accompanied by Che, Camilo and Raul.

FIDEL: Halt in the name of the Rural Guard.

Chicho stops as Fidel approaches Chicho indignantly.

FIDEL: I have come to demand why the rebels have not been liquidated. Castro and his men are up there in the mountains, they could attack at any moment and it looks to me like your men are just lying about.

Camilo sniggers and Che glares at him

CHICHO: I’m sorry Colonel. But we took out many of Castro’s men a few days ago.

FIDEL: (hopefully) Any wounded you bought back?

CHICHO: I told them to shoot the wounded. Here, look at these boots, these belonged to one of the sons of bitches we killed.

Fidel looks at the boots, and looks distressed.

CHE: (whispers to Camilo) The bastard! They are Nico’s boots.

FIDEL: I suggest we accompany you back to the barracks. We will take the soldiers by surprise and prove to them how unprepared they are.

CHICHO: What a clever plan Colonel. Telling them achieves nothing, show them, that is the way, yes, very clever, we’ll do that.

Camilo snorts with laughter and Che nudges him to be quiet.

FIDEL: Where is the best point of attack, we will catch them off guard.

CHICHO: The back door, no one ever guards that, I tell them all the time, oh yes this will teach them.

Fidel nods at Che and Camilo and they grab Chicho and tie him up. Chicho struggles a little.

CHICHO: What are you doing?

FIDEL: This needs to look realistic, we will pretend you are our prisoner. Raul, you and Che attack the right flank, I will attack the centre, Camilo, take the rest round the back. Go!

There is a flurry of fire and bullets. Eutimio shoots Chicho dead. A grenade is lobbed into the barracks and soldiers stagger out shooting. One looks like he will shoot Fidel, but Celia notices and knocks him over the head with a stick. Fidel nods thanks to her. Some are killed and some are wounded. As it quietens down Raul emerges from the smoking barracks carrying a stash of weapons. There are three wounded soldiers.

RAUL: Eight Springfields, one Thompson machine gun, more inside.

CHE: What about ammo?

RAUL: About a thousand rounds.

CAMILO: Yes! I used all mine up.

FIDEL: Che, you need to take care of the wounded.

CHE: I think we’re all OK Fidel, not a scratch on anyone.

FIDEL: The soldiers, they may shoot the wounded, but not us.

CHE: We have limited medical supplies, we need to save them for our own men.

FIDEL: Listen, we kill who we need to, but not all the army are murderers and torturers. Many are simple men who joined the army to make a living. When we win, we will need the army on our side, many of these men may one day be fighting for us not against us. So well done everybody – our first successful attack on a barracks!

Everyone cheers and Che starts treating the wounded.

SONG: CAMPFIRE SONG

Scene 23 Frank arrives

Everyone is lounging around. Fidel is reading. Che is teaching someone to read and write, the others are cleaning their weapons, or doing target practice. Frank turns up with four new recruits (2 men and 2 women). Frank and Fidel embrace.

FIDEL: Frank, hombre! How are things in the cities?

FRANK: Crazy. Factions, strikes, riots.

FIDEL: Strikes don’t work, that must be obvious by now. We need to fight!

FRANK: I know, so I’ve bought you some new recruits.

The new recruits come up and everyone greets each other.

FRANK: They are not completely green. I organised some training. So I’ll stay just a short while, then Celia, you and I need to get back

FIDEL: (to recruits) Welcome, Commandente Guevara over there will show you the ropes. If you don’t like what you hear and change your mind you can go back with Frank and Celia when they leave.

The recruits gather their stuff and walk over to Che.

CELIA: I will be staying.

FRANK: We need you in the city, no one is better at sorting out supplies than you.

FIDEL: It is very dangerous Celia, already I can see you are too valuable to lose.

CELIA: It is just as dangerous in the city. There are soldiers everywhere trying to find me. (Proudly) I am top of the ‘most wanted’ list, after you of course Fidel.

FIDEL: I am impressed.

CELIA: Well Fidel, what do you think of the shiny new recruits we brought you?

They fade out as they walk on. Spotlight shifts to the 4 new recruits who are heading towards Che.The new recruits look after Fidel

RAMON: I can’t believe that’s actually Fidel Castro!

RAMIRO: Che Guevara. I’ve heard he’s amazing…

ALYSA: (sighing)… and so handsome.

They reach Che and stand to attention, a little self-conscious.

CHE: Right new recruits, pay attention.

ROSA: (looking at the pile of weapons in front of Che) It’s just like the movies!

RAMON: Tell you what, I’ll take you to the movies when we’re done.

Rosa giggles, but stops abruptly when Che shouts at them

CHE: No one is taking anyone to the movies! Let me be clear, there will be no fraternizing, no flirting, this is not a holiday, this is where things get tough. Understand? (Instrumental music to Hasta La Victoria rusn thorughout this scene) Hasta La Victoria! Patria o meurte! Do you understand what it means?

RAMON & ROSA: Homeland or death!

CHE: Right! You won’t have got this far unless you have proved yourself. But you need to know, once we move on we cannot let anyone leave. Let me be clear, we will shoot deserters.

Rosa and Alysa gasp in shock

CHE: (cont). You are shocked? Good! As long as you understand the reason why. You can be sure that anyone who leaves will be picked up by the Rural Guard and made to talk. If you talk, we get killed, simple as that. Understood?

Rosa and Alysa nod.

CHE: (cont) We will be sleeping on the ground. We will have days without food, without shelter. If you cannot take it or are not prepared to sacrifice your life for your country, leave now. Leave your weapons with us and go back with Frank.

Rosa, Alysa, Ramon and Ramiro nod smiling at each other, firmly prepared to stay.

ROSA, ALYSA, RAMON AND RAMIRO: (Shout) Hasta La Victoria, siempre Patria o Muerte!

Scene 24 Battle Montage

Fidel, Raul, Che, Camilo, Celia, Haydee, Melba and new recruits march through wooded mountains

SONG: FIGHT FOR OUR VICTORY

BARITONES

FIGHT FOR OUR VICTORY, FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES

STAND AS AN ARMY AND BATISTA WILL THINK TWICE

CUBA IS OUR HERITAGE, CUBA WE WILL STAY

STAND ALTOGETHER, FIGHT FOR TODAY

 

TENORS, BARITONES AND BASSES

FIGHT FOR OUR VICTORY, FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES

STAND AS AN ARMY AND BATISTA WILL THINK TWICE

CUBA IS OUR HERITAGE, CUBA WE WILL STAY

STAND ALTOGETHER, FIGHT FOR TODAY

 

BARITONES (SIMULTANEOUSLY)

FIGHT FOR OUR VICTORY, FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES

STAND AS AN ARMY AND BATISTA WILL THINK TWICE

CUBA IS OUR HERITAGE, CUBA WE WILL STAY

STAND ALTOGETHER, FIGHT FOR TODAY

 

TENORS AND BASSES (SIMULTANEOUSLY)

FIDEL CASTRO

STAND AS AN ARMY AND BATISTA WILL THINK TWICE

THROUGH DARKNESS, EVIL

STAND ALTOGETHER, FIGHT FOR TODAY

They pause abruptly. Off stage we hear gunfire. The group run for cover and start shooting. There are flashes of light and smoke and bursts of gunfire. We see Fidel, Che, Raul, Camilo, Celia Haydee and Melba fight with confidence, keeping behind cover. Celia and Che see the new recruits standing in an open space and shout.

CELIA: Get down!

CHE: Get under cover!

Rosa, Alysa, Ramon and Ramiro look over and look around for cover but it is too late. They are felled by gunfire and drop dead centre stage. It goes quiet and amidst the smoke, Celia, Che and then Fidel crouch over the dead bodies. Che checks their pulses and shakes his head. Haydee, Melba, Camilo and Raul emerge from the smoke and they all quietly remove the bodies from the stage.

FADEOUT

Scene 25. Celia and Fidel

LIGHTS UP

Che is bandaging Camilo’s arm. Raul is poring over a map. The others are cleaning their weapons.

FIDEL: (furious, dashes his glasses down and break them). How do the army keep knowing our position?

Celia rummages in her bag for more glasses.

RAUL: Have we had any deserters?

CHE: I sent away a couple of youngsters last week who were too young to fight, but they did not know where we were heading.

CELIA: (hands new glasses to Fidel) Please don’t break any more, there is only so much room in girls’ petticoats to smuggle supplies up here, or would you rather go without cigars?

FIDEL: (meekly) Sorry Celia.

Raul and Che raise eyebrows at each other.

CAMILO: Where next Fidel?

Eutimio comes up and listens intently under the guise of handing them all a drink.

EUTIMIO: Hot coffee, laced with honey and rum, your favourite Fidel.

FIDEL: Thanks Eutimio. (Turns to the others) Frank reported that the strike in the cities has failed, so the country relies completely on us. We have almost captured the Sierra Maestra, so now we need to head West toward El Uvero. Haydee and Melba check the uniforms and kits, Everyone else, check the weapons.

They all stand up and leave stage. Celia makes to leave.

CELIA: I’ll get in touch with Frank, we’ll need new recruits.

FIDEL: I’ll walk with you.

Celia and Fidel walk on.

FIDEL: Frank wasn’t happy, but I have to say I am so pleased you are staying here.

CELIA: Fidel…I’ve been wanting to tell you since we met that I am so sorry your landing went wrong.

FIDEL: We got delayed, we got lost. It was a terrible massacre when we landed, we lost most of our men.

CELIA: I wanted to keep people out looking, but…

FIDEL: I know it would have been too dangerous,

CELIA: I worried so much about you, was it my fault?

FIDEL: No, you did the right thing.

CELIA: I heard a man fell overboard and you lost time searching?

FIDEL: (agonised) I would not admit this to anyone but you Celia, but I was wrong. I should have left Roberto to drown… by arriving so late so many more were killed. Nico…

CELIA: I heard about it Fidel, but the men love you for it, they trust you will not desert them. Without trust in our leader, the revolution could not succeed.

FIDEL: (clasps her hands gratefully) You understand.

CELIA: You can’t let it get to you….

Celia goes quiet, Fidel holds both her hands. They are very close and intimate

FIDEL: You are thinking of those young recruits aren’t you?

CELIA: They were so happy to be here and Ramon was clearly sweet on Rosa, he was going to take her to the movies.

FIDEL: (angry) What! We can’t have that! Parents are already worried about allowing their daughters to join the cause because they are afraid about what they’ll get up to! Movies – pah! We can’t have fraternizing….

Fidel lets go of Celia’s hands.

CELIA: (softly)… No

FIDEL: (wistfully) No.

They break away from each other reluctantly and sing the song separately

SONG: MOVIES

CELIA

I’M HERE, TODAY,

NO MATTER WHAT I’LL STAY

  

FIDEL

 AND WE HAVE SO MUCH TO DO,

BUT THERE’S NOT MUCH I CAN SAY,

  

CELIA

 I’LL ALWAYS BE BY YOUR SIDE,

BUT SOMETHING’S IN THE WAY,

 

FIDEL

 THIS WON’T EVER BE OVER,

YOU WON’T EVER SEE MY PAIN.

 

CELIA & FIDEL CHORUS

BUT THIS IS NOT THE MOVIES

OUR LOVE WON’T END THAT WAY

THOUGH I’M DREAMING MAYBE

YOU’LL LOVE ME ONE FINE DAY

NO THIS IS NOT THE MOVIES,

THIS ISN’T WHY WE STAY,

I’LL HOLD YOUR HAND TOMORROW,

LIKE I HELD IT YESTERDAY.

 

CELIA

 I’LL NEVER SAY

I ALWAYS FELT THIS WAY

 

FIDEL

AND I’M SURE SOMEHOW YOU KNOW

BUT BE THAT AS IT MAY

 

CELIA

THE REASON THAT I STAY

THERE’S GREATER THINGS AT PLAY

 

FIDEL

 I’LL CARE FOR YOU FROM AFAR

BUT I’LL CHERISH YOU EACH DAY

 

CELIA & FIDEL CHORUS

BUT THIS IS NOT THE MOVIES

OUR LOVE WON’T END THAT WAY

THOUGH I’M DREAMING MAYBE

YOU’LL LOVE ME ONE FINE DAY

NO THIS IS NOT THE MOVIES,

THIS ISN’T WHY WE STAY,

I’LL HOLD YOUR HAND TOMORROW,

LIKE I HELD IT YESTERDAY.

 

Scene 26 Batista vows to finish Fidel

Batista is talking to his army officers.

BATISTA: How many casualties at El Uveru?

GUARD 1: 14 dead, General, and 14 captured. There are reports that some of our men have gone over to the other side.

BATISTA: We must ensure the harshest punishments for such treason.  How much of the area do they control?

GUARD 3: It looks like Castro’s men have effectively created a rebel zone across the whole Sierra Maestra. They have a base, a hospital, a school. With the constant ambushes, our men are less and less inclined to enter the territory at all.

BATISTA: We need to take out the key people.

GUARD 2: We shot Frank Pais’s brother last week.

BATISTA: We need Frank dead. We need to take out Celia Sanchez, her and Frank between them are the supply lines for the rebels, but most of all we need to kill Fidel Castro, without him they will be like headless chickens.

GUARD 1: It won’t be easy. We will require overwhelming superiority of numbers to be successful as we will need to encircle the area completely, we will need air support, currently we don’t have the weaponry.

BATISTA: Don’t worry the Americans will help with arms, we just have to tell them Fidel is communist… well communist by association. His friend Guevara is and so is his brother Raul. Don’t you worry, the US will always provide arms to fight commies. Tell the men this is the end of Fidel: operation Fin de Fidel is underway.

The guards’ verse in the following song is satirical. They are with Batista by force, and not because they love him. Forced grins and nervousness. Batista is now a nervous wreck, as opposed to his first song, where he was full of confidence, now he is full of angst that Fidel might just win.

SONG: FIN DE FIDEL

BATISTA

FIDEL CASTRO YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, SO

SURRENDER RIGHT NOW AND WE WILL WIN SOMEHOW!

 

YOU’VE BEEN THERE MOCKING ME FOR FAR TOO LONG

MAKING SOME OF MY OWN MEN SING YOUR SONG

BETRAY ME, CHALLENGE ME, YOU’LL BE SKINNED ALIVE

 

AND THOUGH YOU’VE CHEATED DEATH SEVERAL HUNDRED TIMES

YOU WILL ROT IN HELL FOR EACH OF YOUR CRIMES

WARN YOUR MEN, FEAR AGAIN, YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE

BATISTA’S MEN

BATISTA, OUR FUTURE

ÉL ES NUESTRO LÍDER

BATISTA ÉL NOS AMA

ÉL TRAE ESPERANZA

BATISTA

CUBA IS MINE

DRUGS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING

YOU CROSS THAT LINE

I’LL LEAVE YOU SCRAMBLING!

 

 

BATISTA

I WANT TO SHAME FIDEL IN FRONT OF ALL HIS MEN

MAKE HIS FAMILY HATE HIM AND THEN

END HIS SCHEMES, CRUSH HIS DREAMS, ALL HE’LL EVER BE

 

I WANT TO RIP HIS BEARD OFF AND MAKE HIM QUIT

LET HIM KNOW THE REVOLUTION’S GONE, THAT’S IT!

HE WILL FAIL, WE’LL PREVAIL, JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE!

BATISTA’S MEN

BATISTA, OUR FUTURE

ÉL ES NUESTRO LÍDER

BATISTA ÉL NOS AMA

ÉL TRAE ESPERANZA

BATISTA

CUBA IS MINE

DRUGS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING

YOU CROSS THAT LINE

I’LL LEAVE YOU SCRAMBLING!

 

 

BATISTA

FIN DE FIDEL

Scene 27: Traitor

There are sounds of explosions and overhead aircraft with lights shining down onto the trees and sporadic gunfire coming from the planes. We hear the crackle of napalm. The soldiers run onto the stage looking behind them, clearly exhausted. The sound quietens, and they slow down looking around.

CHE: They are using napalm!

MELBA: I can’t walk another step!

CELIA: This is a good spot. It is getting late.

FIDEL: Yes, we should get some sleep, we need to be off early. But we stay under cover, no smoke, no noise.

Everyone settles down. As Fidel tucks himself into a blanket, Eutimio approaches.

EUTIMIO: The ground is softer over there a little way from the group Fidel, I tested it for you.

FIDEL: (grabs his blankets and heads off where Eutimio pointed). Thanks Eutimio, it will be good to get away from Celia’s snoring.

CELIA: (mock angry) Hey!

FIDEL: Sorry I meant Camilo’s snoring.

Camilo snores humorously and everyone laughs.

Eutimio follows Fidel and shivers.

EUTIMIO: Fidel, I am very cold, can I sleep next to you tonight? For warmth?

FIDEL: Okay by me. Goodnight.

Fidel sleeps and Eutimio lies down next to him. Sounds of snoring and owl hooting increase, then the moon comes out from behind a cloud to reveal Eutimio pulling out a gun and pointing it at Fidel’s sleeping head. Eutimio tried to shoot but cannot bring himself to. With a yelp of disgust at himself he eventually puts the gun away and falls asleep.

The light dims and the gets brighter. In the morning, Eutimio is setting off, when he is stopped by Fidel.

FIDEL: Where are you going?

EUTIMIO: My sick mother…

The others wake and get ready. Raul walks up.

RAUL: He should stay with us Fidel, we cannot afford to have our position given away. If he gets captured…

EUTIMIO: I know these mountains like the back of my hand, I will not get captured, please my mother…

FIDEL: Go then, but be careful.

As Eutimio runs off a peasant runs up to Celia and whispers in her ear and points at Eutimio. Celia runs up to Fidel.

CELIA: Stop him! Stop Eutimio he is a traitor.

FIDEL: (shouts to men) Camilo, Raul quick bring back Eutimio, don’t let him get away. (To Celia). Tell me.

CELIA: This man here saw Eutimio take money from an army officer just before we were attacked before.

Fidel turns to the peasant

FIDEL: Is this true?

PEASANT: Yes I saw him talk to one of the Rural Guard, and the guard gave him some money.

Fidel nods curtly and the boy runs off. Raul and Camilo walk Eutimio back to camp with a rifle at his back.

CAMILO: There is no doubt Fidel, he has an army pass.

RAUL: He was bribed. Decided a nice new farm was worth our lives and the revolution.

Eutimio is crying and throws himself at Fidel’s feet.

EUTIMIO: I know you will shoot me. I deserve to die.

FIDEL: So it is your fault that so many died? Those new young recruits.

CELIA: They were just 18.

FIDEL: (In disgust) I was too trusting.

EUTIMIO: I know I do not deserve forgiveness, I was tempted. I know you won’t believe me but I hope the revolution succeeds. Shoot me, but please look after my children.

Fidel nods at Raul who is holding a rifle and leaves, Celia walks with Fidel. Che and Camilo walk Eutimio to a tree. Raul looks around but Fidel has walked off. Raul looks at Che and Haydee who nod. Raul takes aim and shoots him dead. Celia catches Fidel’s eye.

FIDEL: (curtly to Celia) We will look after his children.

BLACKOUT

Scene 28: Frank’s death

There is the sound of aircraft and bombs and the group of soldiers run onstage and collpase by their basecamp.

CELIA: It’s relentless.

CHE: What do you expect? They have tanks, planes, napalm.

MELBA: What chance do we have?

CAMILO: The odds have always been against us.

HAYDEE: Ten to one at Moncada

FIDEL: We’re almost a hundred strong now.

RAUL: Against an army of 40,000.

They all slump down exhausted.

FIDEL: Right we need food!

HAYDEE: All lost in the attack.

CELIA: We may have to rely on Frank’s strikers in the cities after all.

It goes dark and a spotlight appears on the other half of the stage in a city landscape. Off stage we hear a shout.

MAN: Frank, run!

We see Frank run across the stage looking behind him. There is the sound of a shot and Frank collapses to the floor. Two guards drag Frank off-stage.

RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT: Frank Pais has been shot dead in a shoot-out on the streets of Santiago de Cuba. Businesses across the country have closed in mourning and Santiago sees the largest demonstration yet against the Batista regime.

Lights come up on the rebels again. In this scene Melba and Haydee are sat holding on to each other, filling in pauses from each others’ conversation. Interweaving with their conversation, Camilo, Che & Raul are huddled together feeding off each others’ thoughts. See order to staging:

[Melba-Haydee], Celia, Fidel, [Raul-Camilo-Che]

FIDEL: (angry) Idiot!

CHE: Once his brother was killed…

CELIA: He stopped being careful.

FIDEL: (angry) He took ridiculous risks!

RAUL: He let it get to him!

HAYDEE: That’s exactly right!

CHE: The trouble was…

MELBA: Well we told the young recruits about Moncada didn’t we Haydee?

RAUL: … Frank let it get to him.

HAYDEE: Those who were tortured, all those who were killed.

CAMILO: But you gee’d us up Fidel!

HAYDEE: And we told them too didn’t we Melba, that even those who survive are never the same.

CHE: Eighty two on that ridiculous boat

CELIA: Frank! You let it get to you.

RAUL: But when we were down to 12…

CAMILO: You can’t let it get to you.

They speak increasingly quietly, as the tight control they keep on their emotions begins to waver. Music to Hasta La Victoria starts. It looks like the group have let it get to them.

CELIA: (sadly) Frank!

HAYDEE: Ramon, Rosa..

MELBA: Ramiro, Alys…

CAMILO: Nico…

CELIA: Enrique, the flirty bartender, so proud of his cool quiff…

HAYDEE: (trailing away slowly and sadly. Melba squeezes Haydee really tight to console her) Boris… Abel…

RAUL: Eutimio…

FIDEL: Hasta La Victoria! Patria o muerte!

Music to Hasta La Victoria swells.

FIDEL: (softly to himself) ‘Until Victory’… ‘homeland or death’ .

As the music grows, Fidel follows this thought with a song that starts a little uncertain on the first words but grows confidently as it progresses. It helps to lift the whole group who join in the chorus.

FIDEL

THIS IS TO YOU MY FRIEND,

AND TO THE MEN WHO FOUGHT OUR FOES,

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM,

TO FRANK MY FREIND,

 

[CHORUS (FIDEL)]

HASTA LA,

VICTORIA,

SIEMPRE,

PATRIA O MUERTE!          X2

 

[VERSE 2 (FIDEL)]

THIS GOES TO ALL OF YOU,

THE HEROES THAT HAVE DIED FOR US,

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM,

WITH THIS SMALL SILENCE.

 

[CHORUS (FIDEL)]

HASTA LA,

VICTORIA,

SIEMPRE,

PATRIA O MUERTE!

 

[BRIDGE(FIDEL)]

TO HOMELAND,

HOMELAND OR DEATH!

 

[CHORUS (CHOIR)]

HASTA LA,

VICTORIA,

SIEMPRE,

PATRIA O MUERTE!          X2

 

[FIDEL DESCANT]

AND I SPEAK NOW

TO YOU ABOUT THEM

MY DEAREST FRIENDS AND COMRADES.

HASTA LA,

VICTORIA,

SIEMPRE!

PATRIA O MUERTE!

VICTORIA!

FADEOUT

Scene 29: How 100 men beat an army of 40, 000.

RADIO ANNOUNCER: News is just in that the United States have ceased shipping arms to Batista.

Fidel, Raul, Che, Camilo, Celia, Haydee and Melba pause in disbelief for a moment and then all cheer.

HAYDEE: Finally!

CAMILO: It’s a sign!

MELBA: Now we have a chance!

FIDEL: Right! Now let us work out finally how we can beat an army of 40,000 with one hundred and men.

Start of song to capture this plan (e.g. a story-type song with a chorus along the lines of ‘It’s David and Goliath all over again. How 40,000 were were beaten by a hundred women and men’

FIDEL: Step One! Make them think you have more soldiers than you have.

We see US reporter Herbert Matthews turn up with camera men in a jeep. (might use multi-media to show this) As he interviews Fidel, the same 6 people keep circulating and meeting and shaking hands with the reporter. Then they disappear and Fidel shows the paper headlines to Haydee who reads it out.

HAYDEE: (Reading) Herbert Matthews reports: ‘Cuban Rebel is visited in hideout. Castro is still alive and still fighting in the mountains.’… It talks about thousands of men and women!

RAUL: Step Two! Involve the people. The radio station is finally up and running. I’ll just plug this is in here and…Camilo?

Camilo speaks into the microphone

CAMILO’S RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT: Radio Rebelde here, the voice of the Sierra Maestra, transmitting throughout all Cuba on the 20 meter band at 5 and 9 pm daily. Calling farmers, students, workers, calling all those who have been abused by Batista’s regime. This is your revolution. This is a revolution for the people by the people. Calling all those who want free education for all, hospitals for all. This is your revolution. This is Radio Rebelde.

We see people wave goodbye to their families and come on stage to join the group. Fidel greets them like royalty. Raul and Celia hand out weapons and Melba and Haydee hand out uniforms.

CHE: Step Three! Take down hundreds with a troop of just ten. Right, you new recruits, here is the winning formula we have perfected: the Che Guevara secret of guerilla warfare.

The new recruits gather round listening avidly

CHE: We entice the enemy into the forests, where we will lay high explosive mines. This battle will be won psychologically, we make them believe that we hide in every bush, we create terror.  We force them through narrow paths, then BAM! We take out the first solder, they turn to retreat, then BAM, we take out the last – they panic and flee. As they flee abandoning their weapons, we gain what we need for the final push.

If there is sufficient cast, can act this out

FIDEL: Step Four! Yes we can kill the enemy, but better still they join our side! Their loyalty is crumbling. They see how we look after the wounded, they see our bravery and then even when they are able to, they will hesitate to shoot. Then when they see more, they realise they are on the wrong side.

CELIA: Step Five! They have numerical superiority and many more weapons, but that doesn’t matter. A weapon is only as good as the man who wields it.

Celia asks the new recruits why they joined

CELIA: (to new recruits) Why did you join us?

RECRUIT 1: They stole my food and burned down my farm

RECRUIT 2: They raped my daughter.

RECRUIT 3: I’ve nothing to lose.

FIDEL: The difference is that we are prepared to sacrifice our lives for Cuba. The army are simply not willing to die for Batista, and on that basis it matters not they are a hundred to our one, we will be victorious. Fin de Fidel will mean Fin de Batista.

End of song

It goes dark. There is a big explosion and sound of rapid gun-fire. Then from the lights emerges Camilo followed by some men waving his rifle in the air with people cheering.

RADIO REBEL: Radio Rebelde reporting from the Sierra Maestra. Camilo Cienfuegas is declared the hero of Yaguajay! Another victory for the revolutionary’s army.

It goes dark. We hear a train coming along. There is a big explosion and sound of a crash and then rapid gun-fire. Lights come up to show army led by Che derailing a train. See Che and rest grab weapons and hold them high in the air to cheering. Batista’s soldiers do not bother to fight, simply come out of the train with their arms in the air and hand their weapons to Che.

RADIO REBEL: Radio Rebelde reporting. Despite being outnumbered ten to one, Che Guevara and his army have won a decisive victory in Santa Clara. Word is that they derailed a train to seize the weapons and the town yielded quickly. It seems Batista’s guards have lost the will to fight.

Che is injured but another solder quickly bandages his arms and they lug all the weapons off stage and also walk the enemy soldiers off stage at gunpoint. They all walk off stage but Che stays and picks up his walkie talkie.

RADIO REBEL: Radio Rebelde reporting. The two Castro brothers and their army have taken Santiago de Cuba without even needing to fire a shot.

On the other side of the stage Fidel is talking via a radio wireless with Che. Camilo, Raul, Celia, Haydee and Melba are with Fidel and listening. Che is bloodied with his arm in a sling but euphoric.

CHE: We did it Fidel, we did it!

They all cheer when they overhear.

FIDEL: Now we must capture Batista before he has a chance to escape.

CHE: Yes. He needs to be held to account.

FIDEL: Then once we have obtained military victory we call a general strike to prevent an army coup or any movement against us – all will march – the unions, the other parties, the 26th July movement till we arrive in Havana to take charge.

CAMILO: You can call it a strike, I call it a holiday to celebrate Cuba Libre!

ALL: Viva Cuba Libre!

Scene 30: Batista office

Batista and three of his guards and the US Ambassador are talking

US AMBASSADOR: General, the United States can no longer support your government.

BATISTA: (desperately) But I can offer you contracts, good terms, business. You’ve done well out of me, you can’t just….

US AMBASSADOR: (firmly) We can’t be seen to be financing a government killing its own people.

GUARD 1: You’ve not had a problem till n…

US AMBASSADOR: And quite frankly, you are in no position to offer anything.

BATISTA: I must leave then and fast. Ambassador, could you at least offer me asylum. At your place in Daytona perhaps?

US AMBASSADOR: (packing up and leaving) I’m sorry, it’s out of the question.

As the ambassador leaves, Batista smashes everything on the desk onto the floor in a rage.

BATISTA: (to guard 1) You! Grab everything you can. Clean out the banks, the museums, the art galleries, everything of value. (to guard 2) You! Organise transport, we’ll need room for 50. (To guard 3 while scribbling a list) You! Get my family and the others together and here I’ve written a list who I’ll take. We need to be gone right after New Year’s Eve. Get on it. NOW!

FADE OUT

Sound of helicopter taking off

RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT: This is Radio Rebelde with news that Batista and his men have fled the country. Fidel Castro and the rebel leaders are now heading towards Havana without let or hindrance to take over the Government.

Scene 31 Victory

Lights come up. In this final scene before the interval we bring together several musical numbers being sung by the different marching groups which should capture the elation and the victory and leave the audience feeling buoyed up.

In a jeep Fidel, Che, Camilo and Celia wave and hold their guns high to cheering crowds as they progress in a victory procession towards Havana. Raul, Haydee and Melba and rest of rebels follow in other jeeps. Perhaps musicians could be following them like a marching band. Crowds start to follow. Bands start up.

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE

PATRIA O MUERTE

VENCEREMOS!

 

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE

PATRIA O MUERTE

VENCEREMOS!

 

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE

PATRIA O MUERTE

VENCEREMOS!

 

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE

PATRIA O MUERTE

VENCEREMOS!

 

A PLACE TO WORK

A PLACE TO LIVE

RETIREMENT HOMES TO GROW OLD WITH

YOU CAN’T KILL OUR DREAM ANYMORE

 

NOT CHILDREN DYING EVERY DAY / END THE CORRUPTION

IF NOT AT BIRTH SOME OTHER WAY / THAT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN FIGHTING FOR

AND PROSTITUTION? SAVE MY SOUL! WE HAD TO GAIN BACK SOME CONTROL!

 

WE FOUGHT FOR OUR DREAM

WE FOUGHT FOR OUR DREAM

 

TEN MILLION CUBANS WITH PROPER JOBS TO DO

TEN MILLION CUBANS LIVING IN HOMES

TEN MILLION CUBANS WITH ENOUGH TO EAT

TEN MILLION CUBANS WHO CAN READ AND WRITE

TEN MILLION CUBANS WITH RETIREMENT FUNDS

DOCTORS FOR EVERY TOWN, FOR EVERY ONE!

 

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

JOIN THE FIGHT!

 

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

JOIN THE FIGHT!

 

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN / CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN

AND YES WE ARE ALL THERE

YES I NEED YOU BESIDE ME / WE ARE BESIDE YOU

NOW AND ALWAYS !

When they get to Havana, Fidel gets onto the podium and addresses the crowd. Che, Celia, Raul, Camilo, Haydee and Melba are beside him.

FIDEL: The people are listening, the revolutionaries are listening, and the soldiers whose destinies are in other hands are listening also. This is a decisive moment in our history: The tyranny has been overthrown. It was the people who won this war, because we had no army, no warships, no tanks, no planes, no guns, no professional soldiers, no military organization. The people won the war.

FIDEL, CHE, CAMILO CELIA. RAUL, HAYDEE AND MELBA (Shouting waving their rifles in the air) Viva Cuba Libre!

CROWD:  Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Fidel Castro! Viva la revolution!

Finish on party as everyone dances to tune of Viva Cuba Libre

 

SONG: VIVA CUBA LIBRE

CHOIR

VIVA CUBA LIBRE

VIVA FIDEL CASTRO x2

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

VIVA!

 

LOOK WHAT WE’VE DONE, WE HAVE WON.

THROUGH BAD AND THROUGH GOOD, WE KNEW WE WOULD.

 

ALL OF THIS POWER, WE HAVE OBTAINED

WE’VE BROUGHT REVOLUTION AND VICTORY

FIDEL BRINGS

REVOLUTION AND VICTORY

 

BOYS

FIGHT FOR OUR VICTORY, FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES.

STAND AS AN ARMY AND BATISTA WILL THINK TWICE

CUBA IS OUR HERITAGE, CUBA WE WILL STAY,

STAND ALTOGETHER, FIGHT FOR TODAY!

 

CHOIR

VIVA CUBA LIBRE

VIVA FIDEL CASTRO

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

VIVA!

BOYS

VIVA

CUBA x2

FIDEL

VIVA!

CHOIR AND BOYS

LOOK WHAT WE’VE DONE, WE HAVE WON.

THROUGH BAD AND THROUGH GOOD, WE KNEW WE WOULD.

GIRLS

WE’LL SHINE A LIGHT UPON EVIL

CHOIR

ALL OF THIS POWER,

WE HAVE OBTAINED

WE’VE BROUGHT REVOLUTION AND VICTORY

FIDEL BRINGS

REVOLUTION AND VICTORY

 

BOYS

FIGHT FOR OUR VICTORY, FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES.

STAND AS AN ARMY AND BATISTA WILL THINK TWICE

CUBA IS OUR HERITAGE, CUBA WE WILL STAY,

STAND ALTOGETHER, FIGHT FOR TODAY!

GIRLS

CUBA, HOMELAND

WE FIGHT FOR GLORY, HERE WE WILL STAND.

FOR FREEDOM, FREE WILL

WE’LL SHINE A LIGHT UPON EVIL

 

 

ALL

FIDEL!

ACT 2/MUSICAL 2

Stage set up: Lay out stage so US presidents and aides etc. on right on a platform, and Soviet Union on left, with their respective flags above them but main Cuban activity in centre. So action happening in Cuba but both US and Soviet Union are always watching from the sidelines and butting in now and then.

Scene 1b Revolutionary trials

Offstage in dark

FIDEL: Mierda!

CHE: What?

FIDEL: Well that was the easy bit. Now we have a country to run and it starts today.

CELIA: We’re all behind you, as long as you can realise you don’t always know best.

CHE: Celia, be realistic!

FIDEL: Che, you under-estimate me, I question myself often.

RAUL: What?

FIDEL: We can’t have everything centred in one person –it is dangerous.

Conversation descends into rapid bickering

CELIA: Fidel, you are no Stalin

FIDEL: But we must learn that lesson, I am too autocratic!

CHE: No we need a strong leader

RAUL: He is definitely autocratic, he simply can’t back down eve…

FIDEL: Trust a younger brother

RAUL: Well you sai…

RADIO ANNOUNCER: It has been confirmed General Batista has fled to the United States with $420 million dollars, leaving Cuba virtually bankrupt.

FIDEL: Well that’s a great start!

RADIO ANNOUNCER: Cuba waits eagerly to hear what the new leadership plans to do.

CROWD: Fidel! Fidel Fidel!

The lights come up to show a nervous unknown figure Manuel Urrutia on the podium with Fidel, Raul, Che and Celia standing next to him. The crowd’s cries of ‘Fidel’ quieten uncertainly.

URRUTIA: Hola, I am Manuel Urrutia, the new President of Cuba. Fidel has asked me to take on the Presidency of Cuba, and as Prime Minister we have…

CROWD: Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!

URRUTIA: Jose Miro Cardona!

Disappointing smatterings of applause from the Crowd as Jose bows.

URRUTIA: And as Head of the Armed Forces we have…

The Crowd are quiet

URRUTIA: Fidel Castro!

CROWD:  cheers: Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!

URRUTIA: The first thing we plan to do is bring justice to the torturers and murders and thieves.

Crowd cheer loudly.

URRUTIA: We shall immediately close down all the casinos, brothels and the national lottery.

The crowd stop cheering and a couple shout:

CROWD 1: What about our jobs?

CROWD 2: What will I do for money?

URRUTIA: These were a corrupting influence

Fidel leans over and speaks into Urrutia’s ear

FIDEL: They have a point, these corrupt establishments did employ much of the workforce in Havana…

URRUTIA: But the point…

Fidel steps up to the podium and speaks to the crowd while Urrutia stands helplessly by.

FIDEL: Yes that is our policy. We will close down these corrupt establishments, but not of course until alternative employment can be found.

The crowd cheers

FIDEL: And as for the murderers…

Crowd cheers and shouts

CROWD 1: Kill them in their beds!

CROWD 2: Shoot the bastardos!

HAYDEE: Up against the wall!

Fidel tries to quieten them down

FIDEL: I hear you. We have all had friends, murdered, brothers tortured, daughters raped. We Cubans we are a passionate people, we want justice. But we are not animals, there will be no lynchings, no one will be taking justice into their own hands. No one dragged through the street.

The crowd start clamouring for blood.

Could have reprise of ‘Free them’ but make it ‘shoot them’ or song to the wall. Have ‘viva’ chanting slightly ominously in background as a cue for mob rule and mob worship of Fidel

FIDEL: We will take our cue from the Nurenberg trials, we will bring these criminals to justice. I promise you, war criminals will be bought to trial and punished. Raul will be in charge of the trails, and they will orderly affairs. The trials will continue until all criminals of the Batista regime are tried.

As Fidel speaks we see Raul overseeing guards bringing in prisoners into a makeshift court in a stadium. The crowd gather round and boo and shout as one of Batista’s guards is led to the stand. A judge dons a wig and sits down, Haydee is led to a stand and a prosecutor addresses the prisoner.

PROSECUTOR: We have heard from several witnesses who claim that you took part in numerous acts of torture that were unnecessarily barbaric. Haydee Santamaria, you are the final witness, is this the man who tortured and killed your brother Abel?

HAYDEE: That was him, I would know him anywhere.

CROWD: Up against the wall! To the wall! To the wall!

Raul nods to the guards and they lead the prisoner against the wall. The guards lift their rifles and shoot the man dead as the Crowd cheers.

This could be a musical number, with drums beating an ominous drum as the prisoners are led to the wall to be shot. People shouted Paredón” which means ‘to the wall’

As the prisoner slumps the ground, he is carried out by guards and another prisoner is brought to the stand. The US president and Aide (watching from the sidelines) pay attention.

RAUL: Next.

US PRESIDENT: Hang on, isn’t he one of ours?

The prisoner is pronounced guilty and led away to be shot while the Crowd roars.

US PRESIDENT: This is a bloodbath.

Fidel, Celia and Che walk away as Raul leads another prisoner to the stand. They walk past murals and posters of Fidel as the sounds of the regular shots and cheers are heard in the background. The following scene could be made into a musical number and script amended into lyrics e.g. ‘did I do wrong?’ or ‘Do you have to be a bastard to run a country’

CHE: Raul is very efficient.

FIDEL: Are we going too far? Holding the trials in a stadium seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it looks like… entertainment. The US are calling it a bloodbath.

CHE: They aren’t happy because some of the torturers were from the CIA. The one they shot just now was guilty of a plot to assassinate you Fidel, in addition to all his previous crimes.

Fidel turns to Celia (do as part of a song)

FIDEL: Celia, I trust your opinion above all others. Truly what do you think, is this wrong?

CELIA: The people need justice Fidel.

FIDEL: That is so, if we don’t take care of it now they will do it themselves, then we will see a real bloodbath. But they liken me to Stalin. Che, you are my brother in arms, are they right?

CHE: Trust your instincts Fidel. Always trust them. This is necessary, to save lives now costs lives later. Remember when we came over in Granma and you stopped the boat to save a man – that cost us the attack, it made us late, we lost so many men…

CELIA: But oh Fidel how they loved you, for stopping the boat, and saving that man, and they love you still now…

FIDEL (angry): That is the problem, I am no hero, ever since the dove landed on my shoulder they think I’m a God, but I’m not. Look at these posters, look there’s my name, look there’s my face, my beard isn’t that fulsome, I am not so handsome.

Fidel rips the posters off the wall

FIDEL: I want every wall washed, no image, no poster no picture of me, for I’m not a hero and I’ll not be worshipped, not while I’m killing so many men.

Scene 2b. Fidel meets Marita Lorenz

We hear the sound of a ship boom its horn. Urrutia hustles Fidel Castro and Celia Sanchez onto a ship.

URRUTIA: It’s you they want to meet Fidel, they’ve delivered some much needed supplies and there are some useful people on board. And Celia, please come.

FIDEL: Well Celia, shall we meet and greet? I’m out of cigars.

Fidel pats his pocket and Celia hands him a cigar and they wonder into a crowd of people and everyone wants to shake his hand. People also greet Celia and Urrutia but the focus is Fidel. Fidel is having his cigar lit by Celia and then his eye is caught by a beautiful young woman Marita Lorenz. He forgets Celia and goes straight over to Marita.

FIDEL: Who is this beautiful young lady?

MARITA’S DAD: This is my daughter Marita, she came over with me.

Fidel takes Marita’s hand and kisses it. She giggles and Urrutia and Celia raise their eyebrows at each other and walk off as Fidel and Marita start flirting.

MARITA: Ooh your beard is tickly.

MARITA’S DAD: Don’t speak to Cuba’s Maximo Leader like that Marita. This man is a hero.

FIDEL: Thank you, its fine, I like people to be themselves. Marita, is this your first time in Cuba?

MARITA: Yes errr…

FIDEL: Call me Fidel.

MARITA: Yes err Fidel. Havana is so beautiful.

FIDEL: Come, I’ll get you a drink. You must try our Cuba Libres.

They walk away from the others

MARITA: I’m sorry before, I didn’t recognise you, I know nothing about politics. Are you really a hero?

FIDEL: Well I cannot lie, yes, but one among so many heroes, sadly so many died. If you know nothing about politics, I shall educate you.

Possibility for a musical number here that tells her about himself and the revolution or do a reprise of earlier number.

At the end Fidel takes Marita in his arms and kisses her while Celia looks on.

Scene 3b Arguments between the leaders, Fidel becomes president

Fidel is saying goodbye to Marita, they embrace

FIDEL: You are so beautiful, I can’t stop looking at you. These last few days have been so special, you are a Goddess!

MARITA: I have never met anyone like you. I can’t bear to leave.

FIDEL: Then stay.

MARITA: Yes, oh yes, I’d like that more than anything.

FIDEL: Celia will find you somewhere to stay.

Celia and Che appear and beckon Fidel over.

MARITA: I don’t know if Celia likes me.

FIDEL: Why wouldn’t she?

MARITA: Well…You and Celia seem very close.

FIDEL: Celia is wonderful, she and Che are my closest friends. I trust them with my life.

CELIA: Fidel! Come on!

MARITA: You’d better go, but don’t be long, I want to spend every moment with you.

FIDEL: Me too, Hasta pronto mi amor.

Fidel joins Celia and Che and they join Raul, Miro, Matos, Urretia, Juan, Camilo and Escalante who are in deep discussion.

RAUL: Here they are.

CAMILO: Your sweetheart kept you Fidel?

They all laugh and shake hands and sit down. Fidel notices Escalante.

FIDEL: Escalante?

RAUL: I invited him Fidel.

ESCALANTE: Is that OK by you Fidel?

MIRO: You should be asking me or Urretia, everyone seems to forget Fidel is not prime minister, nor president.

RAUL: Because Fidel decided it should be so.

CELIA: I am sure Escalante just asked out of courtesy.

ESCALANTE: Yes of course, just a courtesy.

RAUL: Fidel, we were just saying for the social justice we promised, we need reallocation.

CHE: I agree. Land reform, it is the only way to tackle entrenched privilege and inequality.

URRUTIA: Most of the land is in American hands, it is impossible.

RAUL: (angry) I did not risk my life on a daily basis for a few minor reforms.

CHE: Same here.

FIDEL: We fought for Cuban independence, not to allow the Americans to exploit our and our people.

MIRO: Land reform is communist talk, we did the not win this war under the banner of communism.

FIDEL: Communism, socialism, nationalism – these are just labels…

ESCALANTE: Communism is not just a word Fidel.

MIRO: And what you doing here Escalante? You are from the communist party, I see what you are trying to do, exerting your influence.

MATOS: I fought for the poor not the rich, but I’m not a communist.

JUAN: Same here.

MIRO: And Raul? Che? Can you say the same?

FIDEL: Who cares? He has offered the support of his party.

MIRO: Where was Escalante and party before? I didn’t notice them putting their lives on the line in support of the revolution. I insist he leaves.

CAMILO: True. I don’t remember you fighting with us up in the mountains!

CELIA (aside to Camilo): Camilo, whose side are you on?

CAMILO (unhappily to Celia): I don’t know, I didn’t even realise they were sides until now.

CELIA (just to Camilo): Don’t be naïve Camilo, of course there are sides. And we are on Fidel’s side.

CAMILO (to Celia): Of course.

FIDEL: The point is we promised social justice. Escalante knows about party discipline, about organization. I agree with Raul, he and his party can help us fulfil our promise.

CHE: So land reform…

MIRO: That’s it, I resign. I didn’t take on prime minister to be over-ruled in every decision, and to work for communists.

CHE: Bye then.

CELIA: Che! Miro, we are sorry to see you go, but maybe it is for the best.

Miro stomps out

FIDEL:  Miro, we will find you another post, ambassador or something.

CHE: I propose Fidel as new prime minister.

CELIA: I agree.

RAUL: Me too

URRUTIA: Excuse me, as president, it is up to me. Ok Fidel, you are now our new prime minister.

Everyone cheers

Outside Marita is waiting for Fidel. She sees Miro stomp past and looks hopefully to see if Fidel is coming out also. She looks at her watch, looks in her hand mirror, powders her nose, waits.

FIDEL: Excellent. Now I am prime minister I have to insist that we cut all government salaries, yours, mine, we need all the money we can get to raise the people out of poverty.

URRETIA: You can’t cut all our salaries.

CHE: You really thought we fought so hard so you could keep the same $100,000 a year presidential salary that Batista had?

URRUTIA: Oh I understand, you have already talked about this behind my back?

CELIA: We do not live in luxury while the people live in poverty.

RAUL: I’ve seen that car you drive Urretia.

FIDEL: And your luxury villa down the coast. We promised the people we would be different to the others. We won’t be feathering our nests while they go without.

The others all murmur agreement

URRUTIA: We also promised elections, democracy.

FIDEL: An election is not a magic wand that guarantees legitimacy. We’ve had elections for decades and what did we get – corrupt parties run by gangsters, fraudulent balloting.

URRUTIA: You are not prime minister two minutes and already you are arranging policies behind my back. Keeping the promises you like, and breaking the promises you don’t like. This presidency is a joke. I resign.

Outside Marita is still waiting for Fidel. She sees Urrutia stomp past and looks hopefully to see if Fidel is coming out also. She looks at her watch, applies some lipstick, waits.

Inside there is much back slapping and laughter.

CHE: So Fidel you are now our Maximo Leader.

FIDEL: Oh no. We should not have all the leadership invested in one person, even if that person is me.

RAUL: Come on! This was always going to happen, did you really think you would be able to take orders from people like Urrutia or Miro?

CAMILO: It would like a lion taking orders from a mouse.

CELIA: You can see already Fidel how the different factions bicker, you must not be afraid to be a strong leader, otherwise we can’t possibly succeed.

FIDEL: But I am bossy, always think I am right, everyone tells me so. What if I go too far?

CELIA: I am not afraid of that in you Fidel, yes you are bossy, you are autocratic, but more than that – you are right. We need your lion personality as the glue of this revolution, no other man is big enough to do that.

CHE: If you listen to everyone and try to keep everyone happy, you cannot succeed as all the opposition groups are divided.

JUAN: You will be a reed bending this way and that with the wind.

CELIA: As long as you stay true to the people they will stay true to you, they love you Fidel. You have more responsibilities than ever before, you are the man to take care of our problems.

FIDEL: Yes I am the man, it is true, false modesty cannot permit me to deny it, I am the man who can lead us through. I know in my heart, I will always stay true to the people, whatever I do I will do for them.

Musical number, maybe about the maximum leader, or about what Fidel is like.

Scene 4b Marita upset with Fidel

They all come out onto the street laughing and talking and Fidel does not even notice Marita standing there and walks straight on past laughing and talking with the others. Celia notices that Marita is crying and hangs behind and goes up to Marita.

MARITA: He said he loved me, he said he wanted to spend time with me and yet he is locked away for hours!

CELIA: You must understand, he may love you, and I’m sure once he sees you he will want to spend time with you.

MARITA: But if he loved me he’d notice me, think about me. I have thought of nothing else since I met him, yet he doesn’t think of me at all.

CELIA: But don’t you see? He has responsibilities.

MARITA: But what about me? At home I have men who would kill to have my love, but Fidel…

CELIA: Of course you don’t understand, you are just a child. Is he your first love?

MARITA (angrily): I am 19 not a child and what don’t I understand? I understand that he loves you.

CELIA: Fidel is… he’s our hero. He’s Cuba’s hero, and heroes, well they don’t make good boyfriends. He already has another mistress and that is his country. To love Fidel, you have to understand that you will never come first. To get really close to Fidel, you have to share that love, not compete with it.

Could have musical number here e.g. hero love

Or reprise La Revolucion –instead of suggested scene, they could have an argument where Marita sings ‘ you only love one woman ‘La Revolucion’

CELIA (smiling): Look, they haven’t gone far, go join them, Fidel will be thrilled, you’ll see. He’ll want to tell you how wonderful he is!

Celia watches as Marita runs over to Fidel and the others. Fidel is pleased to see Marita and swings her round in his arms and then looks back at Celia and beckons for her to join them. She hesitates and shakes her head and walks away. 

Scene 5b. US and Soviet Union take an interest, the US embargo

The US president is talking with a CIA agent.

CIA AGENT: Mr President, we need to keep an eye on these people. They’re talking land reform.

US PRESIDENT: Well most of the land is ours, so they can’t.

CIA AGENT: We’ve been listening in sir and that Ernesto Guevara, the one they call Che, well he doesn’t seem to think that makes a blind bit of difference sir.

The Soviet president is talking with his aide

AIDE: We should keep an eye on the Cubans, Mr President, the communist PSP party there is gaining influence.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: I like the look of these people. Che Guevara, we must make friends with him before the Chinese do, and Fidel Castro, he is remarkable, what a revolution!

The US president is talking with a CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT: Che Guevara sounds like a communist to me.

CIA AGENT: He is Mr President.

US PRESIDENT: And he admits it?

CIA AGENT: Openly sir.

US PRESIDENT: And Fidel Castro – is he a communist too?

CIA AGENT: He has never said so sir, we don’t know for sure.

The US president shouts over to the Soviet President

US PRESIDENT: Oy! You know Castro?

SOVIET PRESIDENT: Fidel – yes?

US PRESIDENT: Is he a communist?

SOVIET PRESIDENT: I don’t know if he is communist, but I am Fidelist (laughs)

The CIA agent talks privately to the US president

US PRESIDENT: I’m not having this. Fidelist! We need to do something, what can we do right now?

CIA AGENT: Well they are using our oil refinery to process oil Mr President.

US PRESIDENT: So, what else is a refinery for?

CIA AIDE: Well they didn’t buy the oil from us sir, they bought it from them.

US PRESIDENT: An American oil refinery processing commie oil! Well that must stop right now. We’ll teach them who’s boss!

The CIA agent notices Fidel, Raul, Camilo, Che and Celia enter the stage and start a discussion. The CIA agent and US president listen intently, so does the Soviet president.

CIA AGENT: Listen!

FIDEL: Right, land distribution. I think everyone understands we cannot have social justice and equality without this.

CAMILO: But Urrutia had a point, most of this land is owned by foreigners.

CHE: We can’t give land to the Cuban people without going directly against the interests of the imperialists. It is not possible to please both. We always knew that.

MATOS: Is this a communist policy?

FIDEL: If you call it that, then you give the Americans an excuse to hate us.

MATOS: Yes, but Miro had a point, I wouldn’t support a communist policy.

CHE: Quit griping Matos.

FIDEL: The point is the people must come first.

CELIA: Of course there will be compensation.

FIDEL: We shall start with this one (he looks for his glasses, and Celia hands them to him, he puts them on and scans the map and reads) ‘the Castro sugar plantation in Biran’. Yes this is a good place to start.

CELIA: Your family estate, perfect Fidel, perfect.

RAUL: Father was so happy when you became a lawyer, said it would be useful to have a son to protect the family’s interests, and now the first expropriation is our father’s estate. He wouldn’t be happy!

FIDEL: About as happy as he was dear brother when you got thrown out of military school and he put you to work on the farm accounts and paid everyone the same!

Everyone laughs

RAUL: He was mad – no doubt about it.

FIDEL: But proud too. Che where have we got to with the Agrarian reform act?

CHE: We worked out that if we expropriate farm lands over 1,000 acres we can offer two hundred thousand peasant titles to the land they already work on.

Juan comes in looking upset.

JUAN: Fidel we have a problem. The American oil companies are refusing to process Soviet oil.

The following scene could be incorporated into a musical number about the US embargo e.g. ‘we’ll show them’. The following could be suggested lyrics.

FIDEL: Well we’ll show them, show them we can no longer be bossed. If they won’t process Russian oil, then we will … nationalize them, yes we’ll show them it’s our country now, we run it our way.

CIA agent runs to US president to report

US PRESIDENT (shrieks) They what?! They nationalized our oil!? They nationalized US property!? Well we’ll show them, yes we’ll show them, we’ll… er we’ll, er… yes we won’t buy their sugar!

FIDEL: They what!? They cut off our sugar? They want to bankrupt us? Well we’ll show them, yes we’ll show them, it’s our country now, we run it our way. We’ll… er… we’ll er… yes we’ll expropriate all US company buildings on Cuban soil. It’s our country now and we’ll run it our way.

US PRESIDENT (shrieks) They what?! They nationalized everything? They stole US property!? Well we’ll show them, yes we’ll show them, we’ll… er we’ll, er… yes we’ll cut off their sugar! (an aide whispers in his ear) Oh we did that already, well we’ll… er we’ll, er… yes we’ll cut off everything! From henceforth, yes from this time, we shall have an embargo. Not one particle of anything American shall enter their island.

FIDEL: They what!? They cut off everything? A total blockade? They want to starve us into submission? Well we’ll show them, yes we’ll show them, it’s our country now, we run it our way. We’ll… er… we’ll er… yes we’ll just import from everyone else.

US PRESIDENT: Oh no you won’t, not if it has any links with us. If it goes through an American bank, if one tiny part was made by an American company or a company that banks with an American bank, or a company that has a share in a company that has a share in a company that has even a drop of American blood, yep we’ll show you what an embargo means.

FIDEL: Well we’ll show you, it’s our country now, and we don’t need anything from you, or anybody else. Well we probably do, but we’re happy, yes we’re happy that it’s not from you.

US PRESIDENT and FIDEL together in climax to song ‘yes we’ll show them!’

As the businesses (e.g. United Fruit Company and oil refineries such as Esso and Texaco) and sugar plantations get expropriated, US flags come down and Cuban flags go up.

Scene 6b: Fidel at United Nations in New York

Fidel is addressing the United Nations. In between his ranting speech there is applause from some attendees and stony silence from others. The US president and CIA agent confer.

FIDEL: The National General Assembly of the People of Cuba energetically condemns the overt and criminal intervention exerted by North American imperialism for more than a century over all the nations of Latin America, which have seen their lands invaded more than once in Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, Santo Domingo and Cuba; have lost, through the voracity of Yankee imperialism, huge and rich areas, whole countries, such as Puerto Rico, which has been converted into an occupied territory. This intervention, based upon military superiority, inequitable treaties and the miserable submission of treacherous rulers throughout one hundred years has converted Latin America into an area of exploitation, the backyard of the political and financial Yankee empire…

US PRESIDENT: This is outrageous! He’s holding forth against our great nation and we’re paying for a bunch of security guards to protect him.

CIA AGENT: Don’t worry Mr President. We’re funding an anti-Castro resistance and have set $150,000 booty on Castro’s head. The mafi…

US PRESIDENT: Don’t tell me about it you fool. But nothing on US soil, it would look bad if he was murdered in New York.

FIDEL: The National General Assembly of the People of Cuba categorically denies the existence of any intent whatsoever on the part of the Soviet Union and the Chinese People’s Republic to use Cuba’s political and social situation to break the continental unity and endanger the unity of the hemisphere. From the first to the last shot, from the first to the last of the twenty thousand martyrs who died in the struggles to overthrow the tyranny and win revolutionary control, from the first to the last revolutionary law, from the first to the last act of the Revolution, the people of Cuba has acted with free and absolute self-determination, and therefore, the Soviet Union or the Chinese People’s Republic can never be blamed for the existence of a Revolution which is Cuba’s firm reply to the crimes and wrongs perpetrated by imperialism in America…

US PRESIDENT: (Yawns and looks bored – leans over and whispers to agent) Did you confiscate their plane as part payment for what they owe us for stealing our property?

CIA AGENT: Yes Mr President. But Khrushchev offered them a Soviet plane for free.

US PRESIDENT: (bangs his fist down) Damn that commie bastard!

FIDEL: The duty of peasants, workers, intellectuals, negroes, Indians, young and old is to fight for their economic, political and social claims; the duty of oppressed and exploited nations is to fight for their liberation, the duty of each nation is to make common cause with the oppressed, colonized, exploited or attacked peoples, regardless of their location in the world or the geographical distance that may separate them. All the people of the world are brothers.

There is applause from many parts of the room

US PRESIDENT: How long can that man talk? This is outrageous. Do something.

CIA AGENT: It’s all in hand Mr President.

Scene 7b Marita approached by CIA agent

Marita is in a bar with friends. A CIA agent approaches her and as they talk he leads her aside.

CIA AGENT: Mind if I buy you a drink?

MARITA: You can buy me a drink, but I have a boyfriend.

CIA AGENT: Is he here?

MARITA: No, he’s never here.

CIA AGENT: Then he must be an idiot. Any man if he had a girl as pretty as you would spend every possible minute with her. Yep that man’s an idiot, for sure.

MARITA: He’s not! He’s a very important man.

CIA AGENT: So is the president of the United States, but he makes time for his wife.

MARITA: Does he?

CIA AGENT: Sure does, but then he loves her.

MARITA: Fidel loves me. I think.

CIA AGENT: Fidel? Fidel Castro? Well if he loved you honey, why didn’t he take you with him to New York to be there for his speech to the United Nations?

MARITA: It’s work, that’s what he said.

CIA AGENT: Well honey, I don’t want to upset you, but he sure wasn’t working with that girl of his he took there, what’s her name… Celia.

MARITA: Celia Sanchez. They just work together that’s all.

CIA AGENT: Sure they do honey.

MARITA: What do you mean?

CIA AGENT: I don’t want to upset a pretty thing like you, but they been sharing a room, and everyone knows, we all know in America and everyone knows in Cuba too, those too are lovers and have been for years. I guess he just keeps you as a little extra.

MARITA: I hate him, I hate him I hate him!

CIA AGENT: Of course you do. Any girl with an ounce of self-respect would just go and kill a man for doing that to her.

MARITA: They would. I want to kill him.

CIA AGENT: And you know, there’s plenty of money in it too. That lover boy of yours, well we don’t like him at all, he wants to turn everyone into communists. There’s a bounty on his head, and if you killed him, not for money of course, you’d kill him out of self-respect, but if you did, well I’m just saying, you’d be a very rich young lady indeed! But you’d better get on with it, as there’s plenty out there working out plans to get him.

Musical number – either start of 638 plots to kill Fidel, or reprise of song about hero love and how Fidel has let her down.

Scene 8b. Plans for Cuba

Fidel, Che, Raul, Camilo, Melba , Matos and Celia are in a meeting.

FIDEL: Things are bad. We are poor, we have no natural resources, our people are uneducated and hungry, the Americans have blocked us getting more, but our revolution must succeed. So we focus on what we can do. Che?

CHE: We can teach our people to read. We have extended the programme we put in place during the war, and now everyone is learning to read and write.

FIDEL: We may not have money or goods, but we all have to work. Che and I have made plans for breaking down class barriers.

CHE: We decided that just as every peasant who works the land must devote several hours a day to getting educated, so every professional must devote several hours to working the land.

MATOS: That is crazy.

FIDEL: It is necessary. No longer can the white collar worker despise the peasant upon who he relies for his food. There will be none of that snobbery in the new Cuba.

CHE: Cutting sugar cane is back breaking work, we will all do our bit, even you Matos.

RAUL: We have turned the large previously owned US sugar plantations into co-operatives.

FIDEL: And Celia, your plans for the tobacco workers.

CELIA: Melba and I are killing two birds with one stone. We’re setting up cigar reading rooms.

MELBA: The people roll cigars while on a platform we have a selection of people reading to the workers.

CELIA: Everything from Jose Marti to Romeo and Juliet!

FIDEL: Working and learning, fantastico. Matos, is that too communist for you?

MATOS: This is all too communist for me.

RAUL: We are building a reserve army, the people’s militia.

FIDEL: We need it as the US is flooding the island with propaganda. And tourism?

CELIA: I have been working with architects and local artists. We have beautiful mountains, white sands, turquoise sea, good weather and none of it costs a cent. We are making a Cuban paradise for people to visit.

FIDEL: We will need the money, but Cuba’s beauty is not just for foreigners.

CELIA: Our people may not have money or goods, but we will make sure they all get to vacation on the beaches previously only open to Americans.

FIDEL: And health, Che?

CHE: We are setting up local hospitals, but first we need to educate the people, so we have enough doctors.

FIDEL: So we have our answer. We have no money, we have no resources, we have no trade, but we have sunshine, sugar, tobacco, beauty, art, health, education, cigars, run, salsa, literature and solidarity. Viva Cuba Libre!

There are a number of musical numbers that can take the place of this scene, or accompany the scene.

Song – have as 3 parts with US, Soviet Union and Cuba – all agreeing that Cuba is poor, but offering different solutions – could take it in turns to sing, but then all sing together on the agreed fact that Cuba is poor. The US angle is to scoff and say that Castro will be overthrown, the Soviets to say that Cuba should come under their wing and the Cubans to offer solutions

Or could be a song saying they will do things Cuban Style.

There is the sound of a plane overhead and then lots of leaflets drop out of the sky. Che gets up and brings one to Fidel.

CHE: This is American propaganda, accusing us of being communists and encouraging the people to revolt against you.

FIDEL: Why must they constantly interfere?

MATOS: Well if we hadn’t given away American land to the peasants they wouldn’t be so angry.

FIDEL: You fought for Cuban independence, did you think overthrowing Batista helped achieve that? Most of our land was owned by imperialists – how is that independence?

MATOS: These leaflets are right, you’ve chucked out everyone who’s anti-communist,

FIDEL: They resigned.

MATOS: … and turned this into a communist revolution. I thought we were all fighting for the same thing, but now…

CELIA: Matos, you were cheering along with everyone else when Fidel was promising social justice and equality.

FIDEL: Did you think social justice and equality would just happen by magic? We have to make it happen.

CHE: You think capitalism and sucking up to the Yanks will give our poor jobs, health care, education, food? It hasn’t for the rest of Latin America and it didn’t for the past hundred years, why should it now?

MATOS: Ever since Urrutia and Miro resigned, there’s been no one on my side.

RAUL: Oh so there are sides are there? Clearly you are not on ours?

MATOS: You are right. I resign.

FIDEL: Resigning will completely destabilise this government, and suggest the leaflets are right. We will get nowhere divided. Matos I thought I could count on your loyalty, but now you turn against me.

MATOS: I cannot pretend to agree on everything.

FIDEL: If you are not with me you are against me. Think about it.

Matos leaves angrily. Raul reads a leaflet thoughtfully.

RAUL: What this leaflet says isn’t so far from what Matos was saying.

CHE: I was thinking that too. Fidel I think Matos was behind this.

RAUL: He is clearly a counter-revolutionary.

FIDEL: You are right, he has been critical right from the start. Camilo, arrest Matos, we shall put him on trial for counter-revolutionary activities.

Camilo nods and walks away unhappily. Celia follows him.

CELIA: Matos was one of our heroes. I know this won’t be easy for you.

CAMILO: Isn’t Fidel being a bit paranoid. I mean what if he’s wrong?

CELIA: If we were only loyal to leaders who were always right, we’d be loyal to no one.

CAMILO: But what if they execute him? They were all so angry with him. I can see Che and Raul are out for his blood.

CELIA: Imprisonment at the worst. Go Camilo.

On the other side of the stage Raul, Che and Fidel are talking.

CHE: Fidel, at some point you will have to stop pretending that what we are doing isn’t socialism.

FIDEL: Che, I agree. Let’s stop trying to hide. Come out boldly, that’s the only way to deal with this (he waves a leaflet).

RAUL: I’ll round up the crowds.

Fidel goes up to a podium while crowds fill the stage. To one side there is a sniper at the top of a building, he points his gun at Fidel.

FIDEL: Do you agree with urban land reform?

The crowd all cheer their agreement. The security police by Fidel scanning the crowd notice the sniper and run to investigate.

FIDEL:  Do you agree with our health and education policies?

The crowd all cheer their agreement. The sniper sees he has been spotted and disappears.

FIDEL: This is called socialism!

The crowd cheers and so does the Soviet president watching from the side. The US president watching Fidel from the other side turns to his CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT:  I knew he was a communist.

CIA AGENT: We’re working round the clock on the Castro problem Mr President. Don’t you worry. Fidel Castro is a dead man walking.

Scene 9b 638 Plots to kill Fidel

This scene could be a choreographed musical number based around the estimated 638 plots to kill Fidel – perhaps a chorus chanting ‘uno, dos, tres’, along with the attempts. These involve everything from poison pens, exploding cigars, snipers, blowing up a conch shell where Fidel goes snorkelling, flooding a room where Fidel is talking with LSD, poison potions to make his beard fall out. In the following scene the music can continue in the background, and maybe have drumming in the tense moments getting louder to build up tension. Or you could take a more humourous slant.

 

 Fidel is in his room and there is a knock on the door, then Marita lets herself in with a key. Fidel jumps up in case it is someone trying to kill him, but relaxes when he sees Marita and takes her in his arms.

FIDEL: Caro, you are back, how was Miami?

MARITA: It was fine. Did you miss me?

FIDEL: Yes I missed you. I’ll show you how much I missed you.

He kisses her, but she seems a little stiff.

FIDEL: Is anything wrong?

MARITA: (hesitates) No nothing is wrong.

They embrace and then Marita goes to get a glass of water

MARITA: Would you like a drink?

FIDEL: Yes please.

Fidel stretches out on the bed, and Marita drops a pill that fizzes into Fidel’s water. She brings it over to him. Fidel sits up as she approaches. He looks at her face and the water.

FIDEL: You have been sent to kill me haven’t you?

MARITA: (starts crying) Yes, I’m sorry.

Fidel grabs his gun from the bedside table, loads it with bullets slowly while looking at her. Then once it’s loaded, he pauses, then hands it to her.

FIDEL: Go on then. Shoot me.

Marita points the gun at Fidel with shaking hands and then crying she lowers it down. Fidel takes it back from her.

FIDEL: Go on, go back to America and tell them they will never kill me.

Could have chorus still chanting numbers in background interspersed with ‘638 plots to kill Fidel’ unless there is a specific song by Marita about Fidel

Scene 10b Bay of Pigs invasion

The US president is speaking to his people turned away from the audience and addressing off stage to the right.

US PRESIDENT: I want to talk about the most glaring failure of American foreign policy today – about a disaster that threatens the security of the whole Western Hemisphere – about a Communist menace that has been permitted to arise under our very noses, only 90 miles from our shores. I am talking about the one friendly island that our own short-sighted policies helped make communism’s first Caribbean base: the island of Cuba.

Fidel is giving a speech to the people.

FIDEL: Counter-revolutionaries – gusanos – worms have engaged in 800 sabotage operations, they have destroyed 300,000 tons of sugarcane, 150 arson attacks on our tobacco warehouses, and they have set fire to 21 apartments belonging to communists. Do they really think we do not know who is behind this? We believe that the Central Intelligence Agency has absolutely no intelligence at all. They should be called the Central Agency of Yankee Cretins. For months this Central Agency of Yankee Cretins has been preparing to attack our country. When they place a foot here they will learn the fury of the people who will fall upon them.

Crowd cheers

The US president waves to the people offstage and then turns to the CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT: Right we invade. The word is that this is just Cuban dissidents – this is not sanctioned by the US government – understood?

CIA AGENT: Understood. It can’t fail sir. This is a repressive regime, they all hate Castro, we’re fairly certain that once we arrive we’ll be welcomed as liberators, the dissidents in Cuba will rather fight with us against Castro.

US PRESIDENT: Go ahead, and remember this is not US state policy.

Sound of troops preparing and planes taking off. On the other side of the stage Fidel is listening to the radio and is talking to Che and Celia.

RADIO REBEL: Radio Rebelde here, the voice of the Sierra Maestra, transmitting throughout all Cuba on the 20 meter band. Enemy planes have attacked our airbases, we believe these are CIA supplied B26 bombers, many casualties are reported.

FIDEL: How bad is it Che?

CHE: We are not destroyed – we still have 8 planes and 7 pilots.

FIDEL: Celia you go down to the front. Send Juan to cover the central area, I’ll cover Havana. Call me when you get there. Che you are in charge of defending the West Coast. Head for Pinar del Rio.

Raul runs in

RAUL: An enemy force has been spotted off the coast.

FIDEL: Where?

RAUL: Oriente province – it looks like it’s going to land.

FIDEL: We need everyone down there – we’ll give them a welcome they didn’t expect. We will have to draw on the people’s militia, as we don’t know where they’ll land. We need militiamen at every possible point they could land. Celia pass this on. Get all the reserve battalions down to the Bay – one anti-tank battery to Covadonga, one to Giron. Move our 120 Mortar to Giron.

CELIA: What about Captain Fernandez and his troops from the School?

FIDEL: Send them to Jovellenos. Raul, move our four anti-tank batteries down to the coast.

In different parts of the stage people are putting on uniforms, gathering weapons, wheeling cannons and rushing to the coast. Fidel approaches the podium and addresses the crowd.

FIDEL: The United States, in an attack more treacherous and cowardly than that of the Japanese on Pearl Harbour have taken out many of our planes in an unprovoked air-raid. Yesterday’s attack was the prelude to aggression of mercenaries paid for by the United States. The American government claim that pilots are defectors from Cuba, but we call them liars. The truth is that what the imperialists cannot forgive us for is that we have made a socialist revolution under the noses of the United States, and that we shall defend with our rifles the socialist revolution.

The crowd cheer and wave their rifles

CROWD: Cuba si! Yankee no!

RADIO REBEL: Radio Rebelde here, the voice of the Sierra Maestra, transmitting throughout all Cuba on the 20 meter band. We are under imminent attack. Enemy ships approaching Playa Giron. Enemy ships approaching Playa Larga. Calling militia cadres, calling the special column, calling the battalion from the sugar mill and the forces at Escuela de Matanzas, calling all reinforcements – get down to the Bay of Pigs, bring your weapons. We repeat, enemy ships are attacking Playa Giron and Playa Larga.

On stage we see fighting in the beaches. Aircraft are heard overhead which drop bombs that leave many injured. A plane is shot down by the Cubans and they cheer. A tank from the beach with Fidel at its head sinks an enemy boat and the Cubans cheer. Many US soldiers jump from the ship and have no choice but to wade through the swamp with their hands above their heads and surrender. One US soldier turns to another.

US SOLDIER: I thought they said they’d welcome us – some welcome!

The Soviet President is watching and cheers when the US boat is blown up.

 The US president is watching from the sides and turns to the CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT: Well this is embarrassing.

Raul, Juan and others round up the prisoners and march them offstage. Fidel accompanied by Che and Celia goes up to the US troops and shakes a few of their hands.

FIDEL: Welcome to our island. (to another) Hola, how do you like Cuba? (to another) Where are you from?

CELIA: (to Fidel) What are we going to do with them all?

FIDEL: Take them to the stadium and then we’ll sell them back to the Americans.

CELIA: For money?

FIDEL: This is our chance to get round the embargo, let’s see we need some tractors…

CHE: and medicines…

CELIA: (gets out a pad): Right let’s make a list.

Fidel takes the list, folds it into a paper plane and throws it as the US president who picks it up. The US president reads it in disgust and turns to the CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT: This is going to cost over $50 million, on top of the 50 million spent on the invasion. This is a fiasco. Tell them it’s nothing to do with us, it was Cuban exiles.

CIA AGENT: I’m afraid our planes are clearly identifiable sir, and Castro has been interrogating the troops.

They start to squabble and fade out.

US PRESIDENT: What happened to plausible deniability? You said Cuba was full of counter revolutionaries who would support us. This isn’t my fault, this was Eisenhower, really, no Nixon…

There will be a musical number to take the place of some of this scene.

Scene 11b Cuban Missile Crisis

Fidel and Che are deep in discussion, the US President and Soviet President listen intently to the conversation as they walk across the stage talking.

FIDEL: I can’t believe we held off the US, our little island. You fought well Che, as always. Cuba owes so much to you, when I think it’s not even your homeland…

CHE: Any country whose people are oppressed and exploited is my homeland.

FIDEL: I know what you’re going to say.

CHE: Fidel, remember your promise. The imperialists drain Latin America dry. Let the Cuban revolution be a role model for Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, for Argentina.

FIDEL: The United States would go mad and even the Soviet Union are expressly against it. On your trip to New York, you must speak honestly, I will never ask you Che not to speak your mind, but while we will never cave in to aggression, neither must we provoke it.

Che goes over to the US side of the stage, under the US flag and is interviewed by an American interviewer.

INTERVIEWER: It has been said you are a party-line communist? Is that true?

CHE: No, I would call myself more of a pragmatic revolutionary.

INTERVIEWER: Washington has said there are two political conditions for the establishment of normal relations between the US and Cuba. One is the abandonment of your military commitment to the Soviet Union. The other is the abandonment of your policy of exporting revolution to Latin America. Do you see any chance of a change in either of these two points?

CHE: We place absolutely no conditions of any kind on the US. We don’t ask that it change its system. We don’t ask that racial discrimination cease in the US. We place no conditions on the establishment of good relations, but neither do we accept conditions.

INTERVIEWER: Major Guevara, are you in fact trying to export your revolution? Are you every day shipping arms to other Latin American countries? Are you bringing revolutionaries from other countries to Cuba, training them, sending them home?

CHE:  Revolutions are not exportable: revolutions are created by oppressive conditions which Latin American countries exercise against their peoples. And there comes rebellion. And afterwards new Cubas will emerge. We are not the ones who create revolutions. It is the imperialist system and its allies, internal allies, the ones who create revolution.

In the rest of the scene all conversation by US and Soviets is sung, but Cubans speak their parts to set them apart and highlight their pawn status in the battle of the superpowers. Except possibly Escalante who can sing his part as he is relaying messages from the Soviet president, and also to highlight that he is more on their side than the Cubans – see if it works with his singing – might need to change dialogue to make it work.

The US President is whispering to the CIA agent. Hiding behind the curtain is a Russian spy who is listening intently and writing notes down hurriedly. We hear the odd phrase:

US PRESIDENT: (whispers, and the odd phrase comes through) Export revolution…must be stopped… American interests.

CIA AGENT:  (whispers, and the odd phrase comes through) Operation Mongoose… 300 CIA officers… budget of 50 million.

US PRESIDENT: (whispers, and the odd phrase comes through) Top priority… all else is secondary…. Top secret…. Invasion.

CIA AGENT:  (whispers, and the odd phrase comes through) Mafia drug trafficker… Castro’s elimination…. Che Guevara.

The Soviet Aide reads the note and then whispers to the Soviet president, who nods and whispers back. Again we hear the odd phrase:

SOVIET AIDE: (whispers, and the odd phrase comes through) Operation Mongeese… 500 CIA officers… Cuba.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: (whispers, and the odd phrase comes through) Invasion …. Weapons….  Fidel….

The Soviet aide rapidly takes down notes and then runs off. This could be formed into a reprise of an earlier musical number (e.g. 638 plots to kill Fidel) with lots of whispering overlaid. Escalante runs onto the stage and hands the note to Celia who takes it to Fidel who is chatting with Che. Fidel reads the note.

CELIA: What is it Fidel?

FIDEL: It’s from the Kremlin, the US are planning another invasion.

CHE: Haven’t they learnt their lesson?

FIDEL: David beat Goliath once, he might not have done it twice.

CHE: Yes now they know not to under-estimate us.

FIDEL: Apparently they plan to throw everything they have at us.

CELIA: Oh Fidel, how can we possibly hold out a second time? We lost so much in the first invasion.

CHE: What is it Fidel? I can see there’s more. What aren’t you telling us?

FIDEL: Celia get the others, there’s something we need to discuss.

Celia makes some calls and Raul, Juan, Melba and Haydee turn up. While this happens the US president is talking to the CIA agent and the Soviet President is talking to his aide (following section should be sung)

US PRESIDENT:  When I run for re-election, Cuba will be the main problem in the campaign, we have to have sorted the problem by then.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: Loss of our new Cuban partner in the Caribbean will be a terrible blow and will weaken our stature, especially in Latin America.

CIA AGENT: We must attack, and finish what we started.

SOVIET AIDE: We must protect Cuba.

Fidel stands up and calls the meeting to attention. The Soviet president is listening, but the US President is still quietly discussing plans and poring over maps.  

FIDEL: Right everyone, the situation is this, the Soviets have information that the US is planning another invasion.

RAUL: Our spies among the Cuban exiles confirm this is likely to be true.

HAYDEE: Oh no! After all we went through I cannot bear it was all for nothing.

FIDEL: The Soviets have offered us their protection. They have offered to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. They want to make us the first nuclear power outside the Warsaw pact.

CELIA: What?!

CHE: Yes but under whose control, theirs or ours?

FIDEL: Good point Che, I don’t like it, the weapons will be on our island but under their control.

CELIA: That’s great, so instead of worrying about a normal invasion, now we risk nuclear war!

RAUL: Hang on, what exactly are we talking here?

FIDEL: They are talking 40 mobile launching pads, 16 for IBRMs…

HAYDEE: What?

CHE: Intermediate-range ballistic missiles…

FIDEL… with a range of 2,200 nautical miles.

CELIA: The Americans will not like that.

JUAN: I guess that’s the point.

FIDEL: That’s not all, also 24 MRBMs…

CHE: Medium-range ballistic missiles…

FIDEL: With a range of 1,100 nautical miles. Each of the warheads has an explosive power equal to three megatons of TNT.

MELBA: What’s that mean?

CHE: Several Hiroshimas.

MELBA: Oh my God!

FIDEL: Still without them, we’re sitting ducks.

RAUL: True, we’ve hardly any aircraft left.

JUAN: I don’t like it.

FIDEL: Neither do I.

The Soviet president while listening has been writing a note and forms it into a paper plane and sends it flying down to the group. Escalante picks it up and reads it.

ESCALANTE:  The Kremlin point out that these weapons will help to equalise the balance of power. They say that American nuclear warheads outnumber theirs by 15 to one. The Americans have surrounded their territory with military bases and threatened them with nuclear weapons. They think it is high time that America learns what it feels like to have her own land and her own people threatened.

RAUL: It is true, the US have installed five launching sites for medium range nuclear missiles in Turkey that are capable of reaching Soviet cities, like Kiev, Odessa, Moscow even.

CHE: Still are we just becoming pawns in a fight between the big boys?

JUAN: Yes, and we’ll be the target once the missiles are here.

ESCALANTE: I say if the Soviets are prepared to fight for our cause, then we should accept their help.

CELIA: What do you think Fidel?

FIDEL: I think we say yes to the weapons but we do it openly. We accept them in direct response to the nuclear weapons the US have sited in Turkey. That way we keep the moral high ground.

The Soviet president while listening has been writing a note and forms it into a paper plane and sends it flying down to the group. Escalante picks it up and reads it. As he reads it we see missiles being wheeled in and hear flights overhead.

ESCALANTE: That is out of the question. They install them in secret.

FIDEL: There is no advantage to secrecy, the Americans will find out, indeed there is no point if they don’t. Tell them – write this down – that to resort to lies means denying a basic right and a principle – Cuba is a sovereign, independent country, and has a right to own the weapons that it deems necessary, and the USSR to send them there, in the same light that the United States has felt that it has the right to make agreements with dozens of countries and to send them weapons that they see fit, without the Soviet Union ever considering that it had a right to intercede. Secrecy, lying is a capitulation, an erosion of our sovereignty….

ESCALANTE: They say not to worry, the US will not react.

The US President is handed a note and some photographs by the CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT: (shrieking) The Cubans have nuclear missiles pointing at us?

CIA AGENT: Once they are operational Mr President, they could take out any US city they please in a pre-emptive strike. We have to take them out Mr President before they are assembled.

The following exchange takes place over the heads of Fidel and the Cubans as the US and Soviet Union speak into microphones to each other, without consulting Fidel. Fidel is getting angrier and angrier at having no voice. The following negotiations could be set to music

US PRESIDENT: Have you stationed nuclear weapons in Cuba?

SOVIET PRESIDENT: We have not.

US PRESIDENT: We have photographs as proof.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: OK there are weapons but these are purely defensive.

FIDEL: (shouting in frustration): Why do they keep lying? It turns opinion in their favour, they are offensive.

SOVIET PRESIDENT (aside to Fidel): Its part truth, they’re to defend Cuba against attack.

FIDEL: (shouting in frustration): Then say so! Tell them it’s to protect Cuban sovereignty against US aggression.

Celia puts her hand on his arm

CELIA: They’re not listening Fidel.

FIDEL: (getting hysterical) Why can’t they just leave us alone? (pause as humming sound heard)  What’s that?

CIA AGENT: The Soviets are lying to us Mr President, we need to see for ourselves.

A sound of planes overhead, everyone panics and dives for cover.

HAYDEE: Oh my God, they’re going to drop the bomb before we can!

FIDEL: Shoot it down!

Sound of guns and the plane diving and an explosion then it goes quiet and everyone stops tensely waiting.

CIA AGENT: The Cubans have shot down our plane Mr President.

US PRESIDENT: We need to take action fast.

CIA AGENT: The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously recommend bombing Cuba now before their weapons become operational.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: If you bomb Cuba this will mean nuclear war.

CIA AGENT: Our weapons outnumber the Soviets fifteen to one Mr President, they will not go to war.

FIDEL: (shouting to a crowd that has amassed waving rifles) You can cower in your bunkers Americans, our people are out on the streets. You dish it out but you can’t take it! We will do everything it takes to defend our country! We do not care if we are outnumbered ten to one, hundred to one, thousand to one, we will defend our revolution to the very last man and woman.

The Crowd cheers and waves its rifles. Raul, Celia, Haydee, Melba, Juan and Che are concerned and talk among themselves, then Fidel comes to join them once he finished speaking

HAYDEE: Its beginning to sound like Fidel is willing to risk nuclear war rather than give in.

CELIA: Of course not Haydee

RAUL: I wouldn’t be so sure.

MELBA: Oh my God!

RAUL: Ever since he was a boy Fidel could never back down, never give in.

CELIA: But surely now…?

RAUL: I remember once he hit a teacher who was bullying the kids, he just lashed out. We all thought he was so brave. But that was his instinct not to back down under pressure.

CHE: That’s been his strength, Fidel’ stubbornness, refusal to give in. Without that we’d be nowhere.

JUAN: But now that same stubborness could cause meltdown.

RAUL: That’s what I’m afraid of. I’m not sure Fidel is even capable of backing down, even if he knows he has to, he’s never ever done that.

Fidel comes over, he is in a state of high agitation and talking quickly, unable to take in what the others are saying to him.

FIDEL: We have to do something, I’m sure, sure that the Yanks will do a pre-emptive strike.

CELIA: Fidel, just take a rest

Celia puts her arm on his but he shakes it off

FIDEL: No time to rest, I must write to the Kremlin, tell them… er not to do a pre-emptive strike no…. but then if they are going to bomb us, and I know they are, I know it, maybe I should say…

RAUL: Fidel….

FIDEL: Stop Raul, leave me alone all of you, I must think, I must write, they think just because they’re bigger than us, we’ll back down. It’s the playground all over again, but they need to know that Fidel is pretty big too, Cuba fights back.

RAUL: Fidel!

FIDEL: Let me go!

The Soviet President is listening and his aide turns to him

SOVIET AIDE: Fidel has lost all reason, we had better do a deal quickly before he does something stupid. These Cubans look ready to martyr themselves rather than give in.

The Soviet president shouts over Fidel’s rantings to the US President.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: Let’s talk. About those missiles in Turkey… maybe we could do a deal.

FIDEL: (shouting over to the Soviet President and US President): If you’re doing a deal we have five conditions: 1. An end to the US economic blockade. 2. Cessation of all subversive activities – stop bombing our factories, our plantations, spreading misinformation – you know what you do. 3. A halt to all piratical attacks against Cuba from US bases. 4. Respect for Cuban airspace and territorial waters. 5. Return the naval base at Guantanano Bay to Cuba.

The two Presidents continue to negotiate while ignoring Fidel.

US PRESIDENT: We cannot be seen to cave in to such pressure, but we can assure you that we will dismantle the missiles in Turkey in six months time.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: We can accept that, and no more invasions of Cuba.

US PRESIDENT: Agreed.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: We will withdraw the weapons.

The weapons are withdrawn as Fidel finishes his list of conditions. He watches in anger and disbelief.

FIDEL: What about the embargo? What about Guantanamo Bay? What about us?

Scene 12b Escalante internal coup d’etat.

(Optional scene – or could make it more central – a turning point when Fidel )

Fidel is languishing in bed. A doctor is examining him. Celia, Che and Raul hover nearby.

CELIA: (whispering to Che) Since the missile crisis he’s not been himself, I’ve never seen him so low.

FIDEL: I have these terrible pains.

DOCTOR: It’s gastro-enteritis, brought on by your lifestyle. It’s exhaustion.

CHE: (Whispering to Celia and Raul): No it’s having to swallow the realisation we are just pawns in the big boy’s game.

RAUL: This is psychic fall-out caused by powerlessness. Fidel must be in control or he suffers great pains.

CELIA: Yes, it’s the stress of the missile crisis

DOCTOR: I’ve been saying this for years, you can’t get by forever on four hours sleep a night and non-stop stress. I should call it Castro-enteritis! (laughs). Celia, tell this stubborn man, he needs to take it easy for a while.

RAUL: Yes that’s it, it’s Castro-enteritis!

Have song by Doctor and Raul called ‘Castro-enteritis’ about how Castro-enteritis is the twisting in your gut when you’re dreams turn to nightmares, the indignities you must swallow when you’re forced to back down, the acid that rises when you don’t get your way, when you punch the wall and break your hand, how your insides react when you must accept the unacceptable.

Escalante knocks and enters with a note, just as the doctor is finishing speaking.

ESCALANTE: (whispering) You’re quite right doctor. How is he?

FIDEL: I’m fine. What do you want?

ESCALANTE: It’s a note from the Kremlin.

FIDEL: Damn the Kremlin and the lot of them (he gasps in pain).

DOCTOR: See this is what I mean, you need a break from the stress.

CELIA: Escalante, this isn’t the time.

ESCALANTE: I tell you what, I’ll deal with it, don’t you worry about a thing.

The Soviet president beckons Escalante over and they engage in a private conversation

SOVIET PRESIDENT: Much as we love Fidel over here, he is a loose cannon. We need Cuba to follow more closely the Soviet model.

ESCALANTE: Leave it to me Mr President, we are filling the top positions with our people. The trouble with Fidel is that he bandies about terms such as Marxism and Leninism, but he is not a purist, he bends them to fit his purposes. You just can’t do that, it is not the proper way to launch a revolution.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: There is no doubt that Fidel and Che have achieved wonders, but they don’t know how to run a communist state properly. I see Cuba will be safer in your hands Escalante. We can’t have Cuba running wild doing their own thing.

At Fidel’s bed, Che and Celia are complaining to Fidel.

CELIA: He is gradually getting rid of all the 26th July people and filled them with communist party members. They challenged Haydee’s right to serve on the National Directorate because she wasn’t communist.  Are we just going to abandon all those who fought for the revolution?

FIDEL: Being a great and brave fighter does not necessarily fit someone for government. Escalante knows about politics and party discipline.

CHE: Speaking of party discipline, this new National Cultural Council…

FIDEL: Culture is important Che, the Cuban revolution will produce great art, great music, dance, theatre.

CHE: Yes, but now it’s telling artists what to do, telling the media what to write.

FIDEL: As we have seen Che, free media is a luxury we can’t afford when the US are still funding counter-revolutionaries in our country. They complain about it but it’s because of them we’ve been driven to such measures. Security of the revolution has to be a priority – on that all progress depends.

CELIA: Of course Fidel, we understand.

CHE: Well I at least will still speak freely.

FIDEL: Che, you must always speak freely, always. Things have not changed so much I do not hold your opinion dear.

CHE: We struggled to get free of the grip of the Americans and decide our own destiny, yet now the Soviets tell us what to do.

FIDEL: It was you who told me Che that we have much to learn from them. We are just beginners, we don’t know what we’re doing, they’ve been running their socialist revolution for decades. I thought you’d be happy that we are now openly aligned with the communist camp.

CHE: I don’t fully trust the Soviet model, look at its divisions, the bureaucracy, people have to seek permission for every little decision.

FIDEL: Yes, I joked with Escalante the other day that we should set a limit on four kittens per household, and he thought I was serious, he was working out a permit system as I spoke!

CELIA: The real point is Fidel, who is Escalante answering to? Is it you as it should be or is it the Kremlin?

CHE: The foreign press are speculating if you are still in charge, or has the party machine taken over?

FIDEL: Sod the doctor, I’m getting up.

The Soviet president and Escalante are engaged in a private conversation.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: Of course we welcome Cuba with open arms, but we need to keep Cuba under close control. We need to install a more traditional communist party structure, this is how we deal with satellite nations.

ESCALANTE: It won’t be long, especially as Fidel is not well, he practically cannot sleep and his chronic pains have sharpened, we are relieving him of all essential duties so he can concentrate on internal affairs.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: Uh Oh! (nods towards Fidel who is being interviewed in front of a camera).

INTERVIEWER: Can you tell us about some of the recent controversial changes in the government?

FIDEL: We must never be afraid to own up when we have made mistakes, and we, I, have made mistakes. The trouble was that we were so busy confronting the imperialist enemy, organising campaigns in education and culture and we left to others the work of constructing the new party. But these people we trusted with this task have been fashioning a yoke for all of us, making a straitjacket. I was naive. I could not believe that our revolution, so sacred to us all which had cost so much blood, so much sorrow, so much sacrifice could be used as a pretext by anyone to satisfy his own vanity and ambition. The comrade in charge, to which I refer is Anabel Escalante who enjoyed the trust of all revolutionaries and has fallen into these grave errors I am denouncing. We are not saying Cubans should not respect the communist militants, but let no one think a communist badge guarantees him a position.

Escalante gets handed a note as he talks with the Soviet president.

SOVIET PRESIDENT: What does it say?

ESCALANTE: The National Directorate has relieved me of all my duties, and suggest I take an extended vacation in Eastern Europe.

Scene 13b Che and Fidel cut cane and decide Che can go to South America

Fidel and Che have their shirts off and are cutting cane.

FIDEL: God, this revolution is hard work.

CHE: We have to set an example. Production is dropping off, no money, no goods, people complain, the only way out of this is hard work.

FIDEL: Well you can take a break as Moscow have asked you to visit.

CHE: I won’t go. I know it’s because they think I’m a trouble-maker and want to bring me into line.

FIDEL: They assured me you are appreciated precisely for your honesty and sincerity, your firmness in defending your ideas, even though they are sometimes wrong, and for your courage in recognizing your mistakes. And personally a certain taste for troublemaking is not a defect on my eyes.

CHE:  It’s just the Soviet idea of peaceful coexistence in flawed. Cambodia is being attacked because it was neutral over Vietnam, and in the Congo people are suffering while the West squabbles over its resources. There is nothing peaceful about this notion of peaceful coexistence – it means nothing more than apathy, and apathy is a form of betrayal. It is standing by and watching while people are bled dry. Fidel, you of all people must agree.

FIDEL: I do agree, but we can’t take on the US and the Soviet Union. They have expressly forbidden us supporting revolution across Latin America.

CHE: Just imagine – if South America is seen as one continent in solidarity with each other against imperialist military and economic aggression. That way they – we – can avoid being just a pawn in the cold war. I know we need the Soviets but we don’t want to replace one foreign imperial power with another.

FIDEL: I know we don’t want to, but our hands are tied. You’ve been travelling all over, and your speeches about exporting revolution are causing us no end of trouble. Raul is furious.

CHE: And what about you? Are you furious too?

FIDEL: I was, but as Celia pointed out, how can I be angry when a man I respect for his integrity, his principles and his honesty speaks out? But you put me in a very difficult position. Yes we need principles but we also need to eat. We must put the people of Cuba first.

Che throws down his scythe in frustration.

CHE: You forget I am not Cuban. I am an internationalist. That is the kind of parochial attitude I hate. Is Cuban hunger somehow worse that Venezuelan hunger? African hunger? Bolivian hunger? What about solidarity? I am disappointed in you Fidel.

Most of this scene can be a musical number sung by Che as he makes the case for international solidarity – maybe called ‘solidarity’ (could reprise in added scene at end to cover Cuban medical solidarity such as their doctors abroad programme and the help they gave to the Ebola crisis among other examples

FIDEL: Now you sound like a wife!

CHE: Forget it, I’m sounding off. I know that we depend on Soviet aid. They have already hinted they will reduce our supply of oil if we kick off in Latin America.

FIDEL: Ah sod it. Who needs oil?

CHE: What?

FIDEL: The tractors don’t work anyway. We can car-share, we can plough our own fields by ox, go back to the old ways, walk, cycle – hell it will do us good (he pats his belly).

CHE: Really?

FIDEL: As head of state, I cannot officially support you, but Che, always know in your heart, whatever I say in public, you have my absolute loyalty and support.

CHE: What are you saying?

FIDEL: Solidarity brother! Where there is exploitation we shall send troops, where there is disease we shall send doctors, where revolution is brewing, we shall send Che!

Scene 14b Che going away party

Fidel, Che, Celia, Melba,  Juan, Raul and Haydee are all toasting each other

FIDEL: To Che, who has done his bit for Cuba (everyone cheers) and now is off to save the world in Bolivia. Che, if every man was like you and every woman like Celia, we’d have this revolution licked in no time. I knew the moment I met you that you were worth taking a chance on.

CHE: Yes I remember before I met you, we were all determined you were too big for your boots as Nico just hero-worshipped you, but in moments of meeting you I just knew you could do it.

CELIA: I remember I first met you and Fidel together in the Sierra Maestra and you were both everything I’d hoped you’d be.

FIDEL: You bought such goodies, I knew then I loved you madly!

CHE: They were the best times of my life.

HAYDEE: (laughing) The mosquitos…

MELBA: the blisters…

RAUL: Hunger…

JUAN: The constant fear of being blown up where we stood.

FIDEL: Remember all the heated discussions through the night, about the difference between socialism and communism?

The CIA AGENT is listening intently next to the President (could have an ear trumpet).

CIA AGENT: They’re talking about the difference between socialism and communism.

US PRESIDENT: What is the difference?

CIA AGENT: Communism is from each according to his capacity and to each according to his need, and socialism is from each according to his capacity, to each according to his work – something like that.

US PRESIDENT: Oh. So What’s Cuba?

CIA AGENT: Well they argue about that a lot.

Fidel and Che have started arguing.

FIDEL: You’ve seen it Che, when we just give people everything they need, they bunk off, they don’t work.

RAUL: Absenteeism is a real problem.

CELIA: It’s Ok in the cigar factories where we entertain them while they work.

FIDEL: But cutting sugar is hard, they need incentives.

CHE: Yes but we don’t have even enough to give everyone the basic necessities – basic diet, shelter, health, education – if we want to pay some people more, then where does it come from? We don’t have more to pay. With the embargo, there’s nothing in the shops to buy anyway with extra money. Moral incentives, work for the revolution, that’s why we all cut cane.

US President stops listening and hands ear trumpet back to CIA agent

US PRESIDENT: Is he saying it’s our fault they’re commies?

CIA AGENT: No. (musing) It’s a bit like Star Trek really.

US PRESIDENT: What? You’re saying Fidel Castro is Captain Kirk, and Che Guevara is Spock?

CIA AGENT: Well no, it’s just in Star Trek, you don’t’ see anyone pay for health care or food and no one seems to get paid, they just seem to work for the love of it.

US PRESIDENT: But I like Star Trek! (pause) You’d better watch what you say.

CIA AGENT: Anyway, we’ll get Che when he goes to South America. We’ll have someone on his trail, he won’t do too much damage.

US PRESIDENT: Must we? (hastily) of course, yes, we’ll take him out.

Fidel pours drinks all round

CELIA:  Oh but they were the happiest times weren’t they?

CHE: We will never be so happy again, will we?

Fidel raises his glass

FIDEL: Che, you have been everything to us. A master of war, a teacher, a doctor, an artist in guerrilla warfare, a brave and capable commander…

RAUL: Oh no, it’s another speech!

CHE: (laughing) Hurry up Fidel, I have to leave in a couple of days!

FIDEL: … But Che, you are not perfect. If you have one Achilles heel it is your disregard for danger. Your life, your experience, your value as a leader and example and your prestige are all worth so much, worth incomparably more than the value you put on yourself. Che you are too modest. So take care, value your life more and come back alive. (He raises his glass)  To Che!

ALL: To Che!

Che and Fidel walk away and talk privately

FIDEL: I meant what I said Che, bravery is just one step away from recklessness.

CHE: Now you sound like a wife!

FIDEL: It will be so hard for me when you’re gone. The people think you are leaving because we have fallen out.

CHE: It’s best to let them think that, then what I do in Bolivia will not reflect on you. But you know what the people really think?

FIDEL: What?

CHE: That you should marry Celia. You fought together, you work together, you live together.

At some point before this could ‘I heard’ to show gossip about Celia and Fidel

FIDEL: I fought with you, work with you and live with you too. We all live together, it’s easier for security.

CHE: Still the people wonder – ‘have they? haven’t they?’ ‘Are they, aren’t they?’ Many are old fashioned, they think you should make an honest woman of her.

FIDEL: Women! They love you and adore you, look up to you because you’re a big man doing big things, and the moment they have you, they want you to stay at home and be the kind of person they never would have gone for.

Possible reprise of Yes I love a woman La Revolucion

CHE: But Celia isn’t like that. She shares your love for Cuba she doesn’t compete with it.

FIDEL: Revolution and family life – they don’t mix.

CHE: Don’t you love Celia? Don’t you want to marry her?

FIDEL: Celia is too precious to marry. I love my country, I love the people, I love my brother in arms Che, Che, in your black beret.

Musical number about Fidel’s appreciation of Che, and the advantages of bro-love over romantic love. There is dancing and as Che leaves he tosses his black beret over to Celia who catches it.

Or could do song ‘too special to marry’ which can be reprised later

Scene 15b Che’s death

In darkness, off stage we hear jungle sounds and then the sound of a gunshot. Lights come up to show Fidel busy attending to lots of things while Celia is on the phone. Raul enters.

RAUL: Fidel, the Soviets are hassling us about not meeting the sugar quota, they want to know when you’ll come up with the extra 2 tons you promised. Why must you make promises we can’t keep?

CELIA: Sorry to butt in, but the farmers are complaining that there’s no oil for the tractors.

FIDEL: Then they can’t use tractors, we’ve told them this already.

Juan rushes in.

JUAN: Fidel! Sorry to interrupt, it’s just I’ve been trying to see you all week. There’s news from Bolivia, I think we need to get Che out of there, his position has been identified.

FIDEL: OK, let me just deal with…

The phone rings, and Raul answers it.

RAUL: Fidel, the cattle breeding specialist doesn’t agree with your plans for increasing milk productivity. He wants a meeting.

FIDEL: Doesn’t agree! But I’ve read every book on cattle. I’ll see him after we sort the Che situation. Juan, we’ll set up a meeting about Che, tomorrow.

Celia puts a cup of coffee in Fidel’s hands and Raul murmurs into the phone and puts it down.

CELIA: Right I’ll cancel your appointments.

The phone rings again and Celia answers it. Her face drops and everyone stops talking as she listens and nods and then puts the phone down.

CELIA: (to Fidel) It’s Che! (into phone) Is it certain? (she starts crying) He’s dead. (listens on phone) ‘Tell them to shoot straight’.

FIDEL: What? What do you mean?

CELIA: They were his last words.

Fidel loses it. He throws down his cup which smashes on the floor and puts his face in his hands. He cries and yells.

FIDEL: I told him! This is typical! He doesn’t care about anyone else! Reckless. I told him not to go. Che!

Fidel kicks the door and punches the walls while he shouts till his knuckles bleed. The others nod to Celia and she approaches him gently and puts her arms round him and they hug while he sobs.

Scene 16b Che’s farewell letter

Fidel speaks from the podium to the crowd. Behind him is a banner with a picture of Che.  

Below are extracts from his speech. He also read out Che’s farewell letter. Not all of this will be included in the script, or could omit entirely but it may provide the basis for a sad musical number about Che’s death.  

Reprise Hasta La Victoria as per submitted version

FIDEL: Che was one of the most extraordinary examples known to history of fidelity to revolutionary principles, of integrity, of valor, of generosity and unselfishness. Not to be able to count on him now on his experience and his imagination and on that strength of prestige that provoked fear in the hearts of reactionaries is a bitter disappointment. But the imperialist cries of victory are premature. Those who believe his death spells the end of his message, his tactics, his theories of guerilla warfare are mistaken. As all of us pay him homage, as all our thoughts are turned to Che, as we look confidently to the future, the final victory of the people, we all say to him and to all the heroes who have fought and fallen at his side – ever onward to victory.

I believe that now is an appropriate time to read to you, the people of Cuba, Che’s farewell letter to me before he left our land.

(Fidel pulls out a letter, searches for his glasses, Celia hands them to him, and then he reads from it – will probably just use an extract from the letter below)

Fidel, At this moment I remember many things: when I met you in Mexico, when you proposed I come along, all the tensions involved in the preparations. One day they came by and asked who should be notified in case of death, and the real possibility of it struck us all. Later we knew it was true, that in a revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real one). Many comrades fell along the way to victory. Today everything has a less dramatic tone, because we are more mature, but the event repeats itself. I feel that I have fulfilled the part of my duty that tied me to the Cuban revolution in its territory, and I say farewell to you, to the comrades, to your people, who now are mine.

I formally resign my positions in the leadership of the party, my post as minister, my rank of commander, and my Cuban citizenship. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba. The only ties are of another nature — those that cannot be broken as can appointments to posts. Reviewing my past life, I believe I have worked with sufficient integrity and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph.

I have lived magnificent days, and at your side I felt the pride of belonging to our people in the brilliant yet sad days of the Caribbean [Missile] crisis. Seldom has a statesman been more brilliant as you were in those days. I am also proud of having followed you without hesitation, of having identified with your way of thinking and of seeing and appraising dangers and motives.

Other nations of the world summon my modest efforts of assistance. I can do that which is denied you due to your responsibility as the head of Cuba, and the time has come for us to part.

You should know that I do so with a mixture of joy and sorrow. I leave here the purest of my hopes as a builder and the dearest of those I hold dear. And I leave a people who received me as a son. That wounds a part of my spirit. I carry to new battlefronts the faith that you taught me, the revolutionary spirit of my people, the feeling of fulfilling the most sacred of duties: to fight against imperialism wherever it may be. This is a source of strength, and more than heals the deepest of wounds.

I state once more that I free Cuba from all responsibility, except that which stems from its example. If my final hour finds me under other skies, my last thought will be of this people and especially of you. I am grateful for your teaching and your example, to which I shall try to be faithful up to the final consequences of my acts.

I have always been identified with the foreign policy of our revolution, and I continue to be. Wherever I am, I will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary, and I shall behave as such. I am not sorry that I leave nothing material to my wife and children; I am happy it is that way. I ask nothing for them, as the state will provide them with enough to live on and receive an education.

To victory forever. Patria o Muerte! I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervor!

The crowd cheer and clap. Fidel folds up the letter and puts it in his pocket and addresses the crowd again.

FIDEL: (cont) Che’s blood fell on our soil when he was wounded in several battles, and his blood was shed in Bolivia, for the liberation of the exploited and the oppressed, of the humble and the poor. That blood was shed for the sake of all the exploited and all the oppressed. That blood was shed for all the peoples of the Americas and for the people of Vietnam because while fighting there in Bolivia, fighting against the oligarchies and imperialism, he knew that he was offering Vietnam the highest possible expression of his solidarity! It is for this reason, comrades of the revolution, that we must face the future with firmness and determination, with optimism. And in Che’s example, we will always look for inspiration — inspiration in struggle, inspiration in tenacity, inspiration in intransigence toward the enemy, inspiration in internationalist feeling! If we wish to express what we want our children to be, we must say from our very hearts as ardent revolutionaries: we want them to be like Che! Let every child vow every day ‘we shall be like Che’ seramos como Che’

CROWD: Seramos como Che

FIDEL: (cont). After tonight’s moving ceremony, let us lift our spirits and, with optimism in the future, with absolute optimism in the final victory of the peoples, say to Che and to the heroes who fought and died with him:

Hasta la victoria siempre! [Ever onward to victory]

Patria o muerte! [Homeland or death]

Venceremos! [We will win]

Scene 17b Fidel proposes to Celia

Part of this scene (maybe the last part) will be incorporated into a musical number.

At some point before this have ‘I heard’ to show gossip about Celia and Fidel

Celia is consoling Fidel.

FIDEL: Che does not seem gone to me, I feel his spirit so near.

CELIA: It is impossible to accept he’s no longer with us.

FIDEL: His last words to me were that I should marry you (Fidel turns and clasps Celia in his arms). Oh Celia, you are so precious to me, only you can soothe my heart, only you understand the man beneath the leader. You are the most special, the most wonderful… Oh Celia, please will you marry me?

CELIA: Oh Fidel… no.

FIDEL: No? ! Everyone thinks we should. I am criticised by the people for not marrying you.

CELIA: Fidel it is only gossip – they don’t know what we have together. We get on perfectly. You are free to come and go. Once I thought of marriage, but now I don’t want to spoil what we have. I don’t want to be the woman at home wondering where you were last night.

FIDEL: But Celia, for the people …

CELIA: Not even for the people.

FIDEL: Then marry me for Che – it was his final wish.

CELIA: Especially not because Che said. Oh Fidel, you know so much about so much and so little of women!

FIDEL: But I never thought of you as being like other women  (flusters) well not exactly, that isn’t quite what I meant. You are beautiful in my eyes. Oh Celia, surely you love me?

CELIA: There is no question, but Fidel you are too special to marry. It is too much of a risk. I have happily risked my life time and time again for the revolution, but I cannot risk us.

FIDEL: I understand, if I lost you as my soulmate by making you my wife, it would be unbearable.

FIDEL and CELIA: You are too special to marry.

This love scene might be a musical number

‘too special to love’

Scene 18b Critique of Cuba

Fidel is being interviewed by a US interviewer.

US INTERVIEWER: Things are not going well for Cuba. There are shortages of goods, supply issues, food rotting due to poor infrastructure and organisation, queues for everything. Do you still claim your revolution is a success?

FIDEL: It is true there are many things we don’t have here in our lovely island. We don’t have crime, we have no beggars, no illiteracy, we have no racism, sexism. I tell you what we do have, we have free health care…

US INTERVIEWER: (interrupts) You claim to be so ethical and caring, yet your chief export after sugar is tobacco.

FIDEL: What better way to deal with one’s enemies than to sell them tobacco.

This could be incorporated into a musical number, and lyrics could build on some of the ideas in the script

US INTERVIEWER: But is your country so poor. In our country we have appliances galore, fridges – big and fat with not one but two doors, we have electric whiskers, and heated car seats, and electric can openers, and juicers and slow ovens and fast ovens – we have stuff stuff galore but you and your communists you are so poor.

FIDEL: You need glasses my friend, come and visit one of our free opticians as you clearly can’t see, we are healthy and happy and educated and free.

US INTERVIEWER: Free! With one party, no elections, that is not free.

FIDEL: We are free from poverty and hunger and ill health and ignorance, with million people in the world hungry and homeless not one is Cuban.

US INTERVIEWER: But what about democracy?

FIDEL: We have free elections to the National directorate, and the people are informed and consulted on every issue we face. We have direct feedback from the masses in our council meetings and during my speeches. That is our democracy, and the health of our people is our legitimacy. Cuba independent, Cuba free.

US INTERVIEWER: All your best produce goes to Soviet Union in exchange for their military and economic aid. Independent? I don’t think so, the Soviet Union pull your strings and you jump. You are nothing more than a Russian satellite.

FIDEL: Soviets! Pah! We do not follow their ways, their bureaucracy, their lack of solidarity, we do things our way.

Scene 19b Sugar harvest

The Soviet aide calls Fidel over.

SOVIET AIDE: Fidel, you promised us 10 million tons of sugar, and you have barely delivered half of that.

FIDEL: There have been hurricanes, the tractors you sent us do not even work, we don’t have enough oil for transportation of the sugar so it rots in the fields.

SOVIET UNION: We will stop all oil unless you stop criticising us in public. It costs us dear to provide the military and economic aid you desperately need, you should not bite the hand that feeds. Rouse your people and give us the sugar you promised.

Fidel mounts the podium and Raul and Celia round up the crowds to hear his speech. Fidel addresses the crowd.

FIDEL: The 1969 crop has not been as abundant as we hoped but we still aim for 10 million tons in 1970, but we need to conserve every last grain of sugar to fulfil our promises to the socialist countries and to earn necessary hard currency by selling in the West. For some time, the purchase of farm equipment must take precedence over a higher standard of living. But next year there will be plenty, there will increases in agricultural output by 15%, there will be increases in sugar output by 100%.

CROWD MEMBER 1: (jokes to his neighbour) Without a future tense, Fidel would be speechless.

CROWD MEMBER 2: (laughing) He should be called Mr ‘there will be…’

FIDEL: So I propose just for this year we will have to cut back the sugar ration to six pounds a month. Do you agree?

CROWD MEMBER 1: Is he really expecting us to cheer?

CROWD MEMBER 2: Yes of course.

CROWD MEMBER 1: Oh all right. (gives a half-hearted cheer).

Fidel looks distressed, he knows the cheers aren’t what they should be.

FIDEL: Do you go along with the idea? With a reduced consumption we can save more than 10 million dollars in foreign exchange!”

Again the crowd’s cheers are half hearted, Fidel falters a bit.

FIDEL: I would like to affirm a new and positive relationship with the leaders in Eastern Europe. We rightly feel optimism and joy over the successes attained and the magnificent prospects for a shining future. But these feelings would not be entirely just, this satisfaction of ours would not be honest if we attributed it to ourselves alone. I am compelled (faulters on the word ‘compelled’), compelled to recognise how much it has meant to us to have the solidarity of the Soviet Union – food shipments during the first years of the revolution when agricultural production was low, and military aid in the struggle against imperialist aggression. These armaments were very expensive and we received them free. When Cuba lacked competent personnel, the Soviets sent us technicians. When sugar harvests were poor and we could not make the agreed to deliveries, imports from the Soviet Union were not affected. We must in all justice say this aid was decisive.

The Soviet president and Aide nod in approval to Fidel who looks up at them when finished. Fidel tries to address the public again but has lost confidence. He pauses to speak privately to Celia by his side.

FIDEL: I sell my soul to the Soviets to feed the people, and look at how they respond, no cheers, no ‘Fidel, Fidel, Fidel’.

CELIA: They did cheer.

FIDEL: But not like they meant it. I wouldn’t cheer myself, but what else can I do? Oh I miss Che, he would not have sold out like I just did.

CELIA: You do the best you can Fidel, it is not your duty to be popular, but to safeguard the revolution, for the people. Remember what Che used to say if you give a child a toy, he will want another if you give him 2 he will want 4, but when society is like that, you need a leader to step up and take control. The people will always cheer when you give them more and complain if you ask them to accept less or to pay for what they have. You must not be swayed, you do what you have to do. They understand that sacrifices have to be made, but it’s too much to expect them to like it. Go on, the crowd are getting restless.

Fidel addresses the crowd again, more confidently.

FIDEL: Our next battle is the battle for sugar. On this the success of the revolution depends. We need all hands to deck, cane must not be allowed to be left rotting on the ground, the cane must be transported to the grinders straightaway to prevent a reduction in sucrose. Harvest all the cane, drop none of it on the way to the mill, cut low, leave no stubble. Work every day. During the harvest there will be no holidays. But when we get the 10 million then we will fiesta, we will drink, we will party! But till then 200,000 men working 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 9 months can do the job. Anyone deliberately sabotaging the harvest will be shot. Fulfilling the promise of 10 million tons is a matter of honour. If we can do this we can prove to the world that only socialism can lift an underdeveloped country out of poverty and misery. I know you will complain. We are a hot country, people want to lie around, not work, but they also want to eat, to have goods available, they complain about the queues, about the lack of goods, but they need to realise to get all these we need…sugar (lead into song).

Song ‘sugar’ or ’10 million tons’ choreographed with cutting, transporting and grinding sugar, with sleepy workers kicked and absentee workers rounded up. At this point we see Celia looking tired and not wanting to help. Can intersperse song with announcements 1 million tons, 2 million tons, and exhortations from Fidel to continue to work hard. Announcements falter at 8.5 million tons.

CROWD MEMBER 1: Now watch him tell us that we succeeded even though we failed.

CROWD MEMBER 2: Don’t be so cynical, at least we tried.

CROWD MEMBER 1: No I tried, you skived off whenever you could!

CROWD MEMBER 2: Well it’s so hot, I have this bad back.

CROWD MEMBER 1: Shhh!

Fidel mounts the podium and addresses the crowd.

FIDEL: I’m not going to beat about the bush. I believe that for myself, as well as for other Cubans, it is something hard to take. The failure is a moral defeat. I will make no excuses, that would be unworthy, but the objective conditions made the target feasible so it was the subjective conditions, human shortcomings have let us down.

CROWD MEMBER 2: See he is open when he is wrong.

CROWD MEMBER 1; No he’ll find a way to turn it round – there is no one like Fidel for looking on the bright side!

FIDEL: But there is a bright side to defeat…

CROWD MEMBER 1: I told you!

FIDEL: Objectively the harvest has been a great achievement, up 70% on last year and our average yearly production of sugar over the last year is the highest in the world. People, you must have the courage to turn defeat into victory. (pauses, then questioningly…) In many respects perhaps we are better off. Yes! A great victory might have made us complacent, might have caused us to relax our efforts, to believe that every problem had been solved. No, we must rebound, must multiply our energies, must derive strength from defeat. That is what our country’s history teaches us. We Cubans, we pick ourselves up and go onto victory.

CROWD MEMBER 1: Told you so!

Crowd member 1 sees that Crowd member 2 and the others are cheering so he shrugs his shoulders and cheers too.

There could be a musical number here about how Fidel turns a negative into a positive. This is a theme that can be reprised at many stages in the musical where Fidel turns a negative into a positive.

Scene 20b Poet arrested

Much of this scene could be incorporated into a song.

Fidel is in a meeting with the National Cultural Council (NCC) and the poet Padilla. The argument is heated.

FIDEL: It’s quite clear, I said right from the start that there is full creative freedom in Cuba within the revolution but nothing against the revolution.

PADILLA:  But we artists don’t know what that means.

NCC: The fact is that we have been too lenient and now Padilla’s poem goes too far.

FIDEL: I’ve got a thousand things to see to, I don’t have time for this. Just read it.

NCC: This is called  ‘Instructions for joining a new society’ (coughs self consciously and starts to read)  First, be optimistic. Second, be obliging, tidy, obedient. (Having completed all the fitness tests). And finally, walk, Like every other member, One step forward, And two or three back, But always applauding.

FIDEL: (interrupts) What’s wrong with optimism Padilla? We wouldn’t have won the revolution without blind optimism we could do it. We wouldn’t have made our sugar target without optimism.

PADILLA: We didn’t make our sugar tar…

FIDEL: (To Padilla) Yes, it is one step forward and two steps back, it’s easy to point and criticise, you try running a country with an embargo from one superpower and having to ‘yes sir no sir’ to another superpower and keep up morale. You should bloody applaud, who else could pull this off? Tell me that?

NCC: The declaration issued by First national congress of education and culture specifies that cultural development must be aimed at the masses contrary to the tendencies of the elites… socialism creates objective conditions that render feasible a true creative freedom while rejecting as inadmissible those tendencies that are based on a criticism of libertinage and aimed at concealing the counter-revolutionary poison of works that conspire against revolutionary ideology.

PADILLA: What does this even mean?

FIDEL: (impatient) What does this mean? Ask yourself do we want films, poems, stories that promote self-interest, greed, selfishness and sneer at sacrifice, solidarity ethics? What we watch, read, hear tells us what is important for our society it helps create who we are, what we aspire to be. Every piece of art whether we acknowledge it or not either supports or subverts the revolution.

NCC: And it is clear that you subvert the revolution.

FIDEL: (grabs poem and reads it) This is a powerful image ‘backing out applauding’ – like one would do with royalty. Is that how you see me?

PADILLA: No

FIDEL: Is that how you think I see myself? Like Royalty?

PADILLA: No of course not.

FIDEL: Do you think I’m Stalin? If this is how you think I have become then you should tell me. This is a danger of any leader and if you think I have become like that and demand backward applauding obedience, then tell me.

PADILLA: No of course not

FIDEL: You can be honest.  I will not lock you up for bruising my ego, a leader’s ego should be bruised however painful. I may shout and scream but I will not punish you for telling the truth. Do I demand you back out applauding – is there any truth to this image?

PADILLA: Maybe an element of truth?

FIDEL: Is it mostly true or mostly untrue – be honest.

PADILLA: Mostly untrue

FIDEL:  Then why use that image? Isn’t art supposed to tell the truth? Or did you sacrifice truth for a great image to make yourself look brave? Look I have just come back from a tour of Latin America and went straight out to the sugar fields.  I have been cutting cane – it is a horrible back breaking job but it needs cutting and I set an example. I work hard, I have been with thousands of others breaking their backs cutting cane for Cuba – and this is your contribution to the struggle? I don’t have time for this.

NCC: Well we wouldn’t bother you but now we’ve let that one go, he’s written more. Here’s another poem Commandente. This one won the prize for best work of fiction, you won’t like it. ‘It’s called ‘Outside the Game’, here I’ll read it.

FIDEL: No Padilla, you read it.

PADILLA: Maybe someone else.

FIDEL: (angry) You wrote it, have the courage to read out your own poem.

PADILLA: (reads hesitantly) “The poet! Kick him out! He has no business here. He doesn’t play the game. He never gets excited or speaks out clearly. He never even sees the miracles, but spends his days finding fault. Something is always wrong…”

FIDEL: You’re right there, do you think this is helpful to the cause?

NCC: Are you against the revolution Padilla?

PADILLA: No of course not. I have never opposed your regime. I have grown a little disillusioned sometimes….

FIDEL: And you think I haven’t? You have no idea, the balancing act I have to pull off, always hovering on the brink of collapse, keeping everyone happy but without compromising our values, sometimes it feels like an impossible task.

NCC: Padilla cannot go unpunished. He is an enemy of the people a frivolous and perverse critic.

FIDEL: We’ve been funding you, now in the face of all we are doing without this looks like squandering precious public monies. Padilla, we have been patient with you for too long. I will do anything to safeguard what we have gained from the revolution. In the face of extraordinary obstacles no one in this country is hungry or uneducated. Do you think this has been easy? We need everyone working for us, not you griping from the sides thinking you are clever. Literature needs to be an important part of the revolution.

PADILLA: But art…

NCC: Art – this is not art! Commandente, we need to crack down, we need Cuba’s intellectuals to realise that they must support the regime or suffer the most severe revolutionary punishment.

FIDEL: I am personally betrayed, no not I, the Cuban people. We cannot permit you to take advantage of the freedom won by the blood of the people to stab the revolution in the back. The writer must contribute to the revolution through his work and this involves conceiving of literature as a means of combat, a weapon against the weaknesses and problems that could hinder our advance.

PADILLA: I am sorry, I can see what you mean, but I must speak out against censorship of the arts.

FIDEL: You are free to speak out, you are not in jail, you can write, but we spend no more money on you. And no more poems like these. He slams down the poem and walks out and also the door. Hesitantly Padilla looks at the NCC rep who just stares back and then he leaves.

It goes dark and then we hear a poem being read out.  

NCC: This is his latest – ‘Cuban poets no longer dream, (not even at night), Hands seize them by the shoulders, Turn them about…

We hear a car pull up and a banging at the door. As the lights go up we see Padilla in his night gown open it to two guards  – one from the NCC who arrest him and put him in jail.

GUARD: You never thought we would arrest you did you?’

NCC: You thought you were untouchable, the rebellious artist who is forever accusing us of being fascists? Did you think that we should forgive your counter-revolutionary mischief-making?

The Guard shows Padilla a document and asks him to sign it.

PADILLA: (reads it) No there’s been a mistake.

GUARD: I expect you think we’re afraid of there will be an international reaction from all your artist friends in Europe?

PADILLA: I have never endangered the powers of the state.

GUARD: That’s what you’re hoping for? You think Cuba’s intellectuals are untouchable. You’re trusting in that? Your friends will mobilise perhaps?

The guard shows Padilla a manuscript and slams it down on the table

NCC: This is yours. Fidel doesn’t like this poisonous shit, the leaders don’t like it, the party, nobody likes it.

It goes dark and we hear a bustle and cars. Lights go up and Fidel walks in with a guard talking with the NCC.

NCC: We’ve kept him for a month.

FIDEL: He can put right the wrong he has done us, we will film his confession, then we need to think what do with him.

NCC: (laughing) We can send him to Bulgaria as a cultural attache.

Fidel enters Padilla’s cell and orders the guard and NCC out.

FIDEL: Get out all of you and wait in the hall. (Fidel paces up and down while talking to Padilla) We are the only ones who have to be here because today I have some time to talk to you and I think you do too and we have a lot to talk about. Abroad they are all speaking out against the Cuban revolution and you are responsible for that. Do you know how much spare money we had?

PADILLA: None?

FIDEL: No things are tight and it has broken my heart having to always ask for more sacrifices, for our people to have less, and the only alternative is to bend to the US and become another colony of theirs. Do you think I should do that, sell out the revolution?

PADILLA: No, of course not.

FIDEL: No, so we suffer, and all I can do is travel and talk and persuade other countries, not beholden to America to help us, but not at the expense of taking us over. Do you want Russian tanks rolling into Havana like in Prague?

PADILLA: No.

FIDEL: No, so we need friends, and you with your poetry, you think it’s so clever, so easy to criticise, and I have let you free before, for I am not Stalin, and this is how you repay me. This is how you repay Cuba? Getting revolutionaries to fight for the cause is easy, it is not the same as getting literary men to fight. In this country they have never done anything for the people, not last century, not this century, they just jump on history’s bandwagon. Will you confess?

Padilla nods.

FIDEL: Good. Then you are free to go, but no more poems.

Fidel hands him a pen and leaves. We see Padilla being filmed as he confesses. This might be set to music (possibly sombre, uneasy, discordant)

PADIILLA: I defamed each one of the initiatives of the Revolution to Cubans and to foreigners. I tried to appear to be an intellectual expert on problems about which I had no information, things I knew absolutely nothing about, and in this way I came to commit grave faults against the morals of the true intellectual and, what it worse, against the revolution itself. I was poet and political enfant terrible. I was quoted in articles about Cuba as an intransigent and rebel poet. And I know that each blow I launched against any aspect of the Revolution increased my popularity among journalists and writers, so-called liberals or democrats who worried more about the intellectual conflict than about the imperialist bombs and Vietnam. As my vanity knew no limits, I brought my politically disaffected positions where I never should have brought them: to poetry. I was convinced that a poem that incorporated a supposed critique of the Revolution would appeal to certain international interests: The areas of skepticism and hatred for Revolutions. And so it was that I wrote insidious and provocative poems that under the skillful appearance of anguish over the problems and demands of history, did not express anything other than the temperament of a disbeliever, a cynic, trapped by his own moral and intellectual limitations. I refer, of course, to Fuera del Juego [Out of the Game] which won the National Poetry Prize from the Writers and Artists Union.

Full confession is http://translatingcuba.com/heberto-padillas-public-confession-5-april-1971-a-transcript/

Journalists are listening and scribbling down his confession. Celia and Haydee come on stage and are listening to the confession.

CELIA: I can’t tell if he’s being sincere.

HAYDEE: This isn’t what we fought for. I don’t know Celia, you know what I mean, you’re Orthodox, this isn’t our style, I didn’t think it was Fidel’s style.

CELIA: He feels everyone is out to get him. The exiles, those who lost their land, the foreign press, and now even his artists are against him. Only the people are left.

HAYDEE: And you, he always has your absolute loyalty.

CELIA: (sadly) Yes he always has me. (Then briskly) He should trust the people more, they moan but they still love him.

HAYDEE: They don’t care what some poet says anyway. He doesn’t need to worry so much. You’ll tell Fidel that won’t you Celia.

Celia sways suddenly and Haydee holds out her arm to steady her.

HAYDEE: Celia, are you OK? You look tired.

CELIA: Tell him? I have something to tell him that he will find hard to hear.

Scene 21b Celia ill

Celia sings a song about how can she tell Fidel that she’s dying? This can be a solo song, or she can sing with Haydee and the others (Raul, Juan, Melba) can come in and finally Fidel can come in and hear and join in the song.

During the musical number on stage we see the doctor come on and look down her throat and shake his head. Celia takes to her bed. Depending on the song we may have everyone leave until just Fidel is by her side weeping. Once she dies many visitors come to pay her respects and then there may also be a funeral procession down the road with crowds waving banners saying ‘Celia we love you’ or ‘Thank you Celia’.

The song might build on the following script. and might reprise the earlier doctor’s daughter song.

CELIA: How can I tell him I’m dying? And not like the others did, bravely under fire. Abel under torture, Nico on the battle field, Frank shot dead in the street, Che in the jungle, and me my body lets me down. No dying for the revolution, but dying of cancer. Far from glorifying the revolution, it’s as if I’m accusing it, of not having the health care, the treatment that will work. Doctors daughter, dies from cancer.

Scene 22b Special period and a new Cuba emerges

Scene needs rewriting to reflect submissions

The previous song might lead onto to a choreographed number which shows how Cuba suffers during the Special Period when the Soviet Union collapses and there is an abrupt withdrawal of Soviet aide. Can have choreographed number showing people queuing for hours just to find the store is empty, no transport working, shops with ‘no goods’ written in the window, garages with ‘no oil’ on signs. People are leaving the country in droves. All the time Fidel is weeping with his head in his arms. Lyrics can draw upon the script below and then the script will be rewritten to accommodate the musical number.

RADIO REBEL: This is Radio Rebelde. The Soviet Union has collapsed. Economic aid to Cuba has ceased. Severe shortages are expected. Cubans are queuing now to leave the country.  Our Maximum Leader Fidel Castro has announced a special period in the time of peace. Cubans are warned that fuel supplies will be reduced or even maybe eliminated entirely. Many are worried there will be famine. GDP is falling fast.

The US president turns to the CIA agent.

US PRESIDENT: Castro will never survive this, it is impossible.

CIA AGENT: I agree Mr President. They have just 10% of the oil they had before, this will paralyze their transport and industry. They’ve lost 80% of their imports and 80% of their exports.

US PRESIDENT: Finally under my presidency we can get rid of Castro once and for all. That will be a feather in my cap.

CIA AGENT: I’ll work on seeing if we can tighten up our restrictions, just to be sure.

RADIO REBEL: This is Radio Rebelde. Things are going from bad to worse. Plant rot has devastated sugar plantations. Hurricanes have destroyed many buildings, with no materials available to repair them. Blue rust has destroyed the tobacco crop and many cigar factories have closed. Unemployment is at an all-time high. Credit is impossible due to the embargo.

On stage there is anti-government graffiti on the walls. We hear the hurricane and see buildings overturned. There are queues and shortages. Raul approaches Fidel who has his head in his arms. He touches his shoulder and Fidel just shakes his head.

RAUL: OK then, we surrender, is that it?

FIDEL: You’ve seen the graffiti, I promised the people everything and now they have nothing and they hold me responsible. People are leaving in droves. Even the weather is trying to tell us something. We have nothing and no credit, not while the embargo is in place. It’s over Raul.

RAUL: I agree brother, I can see no way out. Even with your magic of turning negatives into positives. The Yankees will be pleased, they’ve won, we’ve lost.

Instead of leaving, this could be a place for a song by Raul where he reminds Fidel of all that has been achieved and helps to perk up Fidel.

Raul pats Fidel on the shoulder and leaves.

The next soliloquy by Fidel may form part of the finale musical number. If there has been a song earlier about Fidel’s knack for turning negatives into positives, it could be reprised here. He may be addressing the ghost of Che or Celia or all those who died. It is likely that it will turn into a chorus number as people come on stage during the speech/song– both those that died, those who are left and the Cuban people until everyone is on stage.

FIDEL: I can’t go on. Everyone I love has died, Nico, Frank, Camilo, Che and now with Celia gone, I can’t go on. Look at Cuba, in pieces, after everything we went through. Buildings falling down through lack of materials, transport stationary through lack of oil, people hungry through lack of food. Cuba, my beloved country collapsing after everything we did. (Song builds up as he recounts) The attack on the Moncada Barracks, we had 160 of us, and so many died, murdered, tortured executed. And we built ourselves back up, we trained troops, got money and weapons and was it 80, 90 of us came back to Cuba to fight, then we were cut down, not even a quarter survived. But we built up again, to 100, 200 with a few guns against the might of Batista and his aircraft and tanks and his army of 40,000 men, and we beat them. And our little island – we were less than 8 million people against 190 million Yankees, and a tenth of their size and we held them off at the Bay of Pigs, and we kept holding them off. When they threatened us again we got nuclear. It’s been us against the world, we took our place at the United Nations and Che told them what solidarity meant and 10 millions tons – OK 8.5 million tons of sugar – but still… And now we have 10,000 of us, fed and housed and educated. And I have no one, I have nothing, we all have nothing, we are nothing and I thought we’d be something, I thought Cuba would be something (music might builds up during list of events, but then Fidel pauses as the ghosts of Nico, Frank, Che and Celia all appear one by one, and music goes back to being very quiet as he realises). I can’t surrender.

Fidel straightens himself up as he talks and starts to pace, as he picks up speed and volume he mounts his podium and gradually the others join him.

FIDEL: (cont) I can’t surrender. (Thoughtfully) If necessary we will have to revert to a subsistence economy, the primitivism of the preindustrial age. Factories will be shut down. Thousands of city dwellers may have to move to the countryside. Oxen may replace tractors. Windmills could provide electricity. The people can ride bicycles instead of busses or private vehicles. (Positively) Could anything be more healthy? Someday we might be thankful for this special situation. We are going back to the noble Ox. If the ground is wet tractors are useless anyway, whereas oxen are 13 times more productive. They do not require spare parts. We don’t care who or what falls from power anywhere, but here nothing is going to fall. Let the Yankees dream their foolish dreams. No one in Cuba will surrender. We will not surrender the advances we have made, we will not surrender our principles, we will not surrender the revolution!

Yes, Celia died. We could fight off the Yankees, but we could not fight cancer. We’ve fought the Yankees, next we fight cancer. We have nothing, nothing but our people, our glorious, educated, healthy, brave and independent people, and with our people we can build ourselves up. With our beautiful island we build tourism, with our knowledge we build a new industry, a knowledge economy – we build labs, immunology, pharmacology, biotechnology. (as part of choreographed number we can show this happening and we can show statistics of Cuba’s successes in terms of health, education, sustainability, the first vaccine for lung cancer). Yes we shall train doctors, we shall train nurses, and we’ll send them round the world to cure diseases. We won’t surrender. In fact (pauses, questioningly) in fact it’s a good thing the Soviet Union collapsed. Nothing they gave us worked anyway, what use was the oil they gave when their tractors didn’t work? And so now we are free, we are truly, really absolutely free, no one to answer to, no one but ourselves and our dream – Cuba Libre, Patria o Muerte, Venceramos.

This number or mix of musical number and speech takes us emotionally from the very pits of despair to joyful hope and conviction. This might be the final number and so it should leave the audience with tears in their eyes and a lump in their throat but smiling and uplifted.

We can reprise you can’t kill a dream – 500,000 Cuban in work… and/or also reprise Hasta La Victoria’‘ but less sadly and more triumphant

End

The cast then take their bows, and then do a medley of the more dancy numbers such as the musical number from the nightclub in Scene 3, or the song about Cuban style or revolution being like salsa/tango. There will be dancing on stage, and hopefully in the aisles, then a final bow and finish.