Who is Jose Miguel Battle in Season 3 of Godfather of Harlem?
Bumpy Johnson has had several worthy opponents over the years godfather of harlem, and in Season 3, the character will face another powerful mob boss: José Miguel Battle, Sr.
Battle, played by Yul Vazquez, is the leader of the Cuban-American mafia in the MGM+ drama, and Bumpy (Forest Whitaker) comes to him with a proposal to form an alliance while he tries to take back control of Harlem.
godfather of harlem, As viewers are likely to realize, it’s based on reality and tells the story of several real-life gangsters and historical figures of the 1960s. While some artistic liberty was taken in the retelling of events, many of the characters really existed, and Battle is one of them.
Who is Jose Miguel Battle in Godfather of Harlem?
The real Battle worked as a police officer in Havana under Fulgencio Batista’s regime before fleeing the country when Fidel Castro took power in 1959 after the Cuban Revolution.
Battle came to the United States as an exile, and in April 1961 he was one of 1,500 Cubans trained and sent to try to overthrow Castro’s regime during the Bay of Pigs invasion.
The operation was a disaster, and those not killed by pro-Castro militias were jailed until the Kennedy administration could negotiate their release in 1962.
According to a BBC report at the time, the US government agreed to provide $53 million in food and medical supplies to secure the prisoners’ release. Battle, who was a member of Brigade 2506, was one of them.
Returning to the US battlefield, he became the leader of The Corporation, the Cuban crime group operating in both the US and Latin America.
Battle became known as “El Padrino” or Godfather, and The Corporation made millions from illegal bookmaking, bolita lotteries and drug dealing.
Author TJ English wrote about Battle’s life story in his book The Corporation: An Epic History of the Cuban-American Underworld, and also spoken Vice in 2018 on Battle’s rise to power.
English told the publication, “When he came to the United States and wanted to build this gambling empire centered around a number racket or what Latinos called ‘bolita’, he knew it could be a gold mine if it got right would be organized. Part of the organization involved making sure he cleared it with the necessary mafia figures in the United States.
“He set up meetings with all the major mafia figures in the New York/New Jersey area through Santo Trafficante and started this bolita venture, which on many levels was quite extensive and profitable.”
In 1977, Battle was arrested and charged with soliciting and conspiring to murder Ernesto Torres, a member of the Corporation. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but the charges and sentence were later overturned on appeal and he only served two years in prison.
Battle was arrested again in March 2004 and sentenced to 20 years in prison for racketeering in January 2007.
In August 2007, Battle died in federal custody at the age of 77. A report from the ChicagoTribune said that at the time of his death he was “waiting for a place in federal prison” to serve his 20-year sentence.
Yul Vazquez on gaming Jose Miguel Battle
Battle is introduced in the second episode of Godfather of Harlem Season 3, and Vazquez tells news week that he had a personal connection to the story that led him to portray the character.
“What really interested me was playing José Miguel Battle. It’s a story I knew, my uncle had fought with Battle in the Bay of Pigs invasion so it was a story I was very familiar with.
“I had read a book that came out in 2018 called Society, So my whole interest was playing José Miguel Battle, who to my knowledge has never been played by anyone on screen [before].”
Regarding Battle’s storyline, Vazquez added that he “knew quite a bit about him” from what he had read, so he didn’t want to depict him as a two-dimensional gangster in his performance.
He explained, “I wanted Battle to be seen as a guy who had real intentions and real love for his country and a real desire to get his country back.
“I mean, he was obviously a man involved in many forms of organized crime, but that’s just one thing about this man, you know?
“He’s a three-dimensional human being, he was a family man, he was a guy who loved his country and wanted his country back and risked his life to get it, he had hopes that one day he could get it back. “
Vazquez also reflected on what it was like working with Whitaker, saying, “Forest has been a dream to work with. I first met Forest when he cast me in a film he was directing, it was one of my first acting jobs was a film Forest was directing.
“Working with Forest was, it’s hard to explain, he’s one of the greatest actors I’ve ever sat at the table with, I’ve ever had the chance to volley with him.
“[He’s] just a beautiful person and also a very generous and gracious host what happens when you are the star of a show like him. It’s your home and he made everyone feel very welcome. I wish I could always work with Forest Whitaker.”
Co-creators Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein also narrated news week what fans can expect from the alliance of bumpy and battle.
Brancato said, “Season 3 is the Cuban connection because so many things happened that were politically, culturally and socially interesting with the uniting of Hispanics and Blacks in Harlem and adjacent Harlem to fight for political rights.
“Then of course there was also internal skirmishes there, so we wanted to explore the idea of a black-brown alliance against the Italians, as there is no better term. We thought this would give us some interesting arenas to explore.”
He teased what’s to come, adding: “I think the best way to put it in shorthand is this season is about alliances. Who can you trust? Do you need an alliance to survive in this world? Do we all need alliances?
“Can you trust your ally, or will he become your enemy? And so we’ve got an interesting shift in alliances throughout the season that’s going to shake up the pot a lot.”
Godfather of Harlem Season 3 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on MGM+.
https://www.newsweek.com/godfather-harlem-jose-miguel-battle-bumpy-johnson-yul-vazquez-1775295 Who is Jose Miguel Battle in Season 3 of Godfather of Harlem?