HAVANA TIMES – During his visit to New York, Mr. Diaz-Canel (Raul Castro’s puppet, according to many) was lavished with attention at a meeting with important figures of US culture at the sadly famous Dakota building.
Among the figures who honored Mr. Diaz-Canel so enthusiastically, Hollywood icons such as Bennett Miller, Katie Holmes, Dakota Johnson and celebrities such as Chris Martin from Coldplay, Patty Smith, rappers Nas and Q-Tip or Jon Baptiste stood out.
But because everything goes in the world of the most uncritical lefties, the extremely communist Diaz-Canel also happily rubbed shoulders with bourgeois millionaires such as the fun founder of Studio 54 Ian Schrager, Juliana Hatkoff, the Niedichs and of course Carole and Alex Rosenberg, proud art collectors and founders of New York’s Havana Film Festival, an event known for censoring movies that make the Cuban government uneasy.
However, among so much fame, money and talent, the great Robert de Niro especially stood out, leading that enthusiastic group.
Even though being a great actor doesn’t make his opinion any more or less respectable than any fine gardener’s, the fact that he is an extremely public figure means that this display of affection towards the Cuban leader becomes support for what the latter represents.
This strange situation, where one person who is famous for being a liberal (in the US sense of the word) and a social activist chooses to show public support for a shady figure who represents the oldest western dictatorship, deserves a moment of reflection.
Robert de Niro is a millionaire; does he not think it’s contradictory of him to receive the representative of a government that doesn’t recognize entrepreneurial freedom?
Robert de Niro expresses his political opinions in public, does he not think it’s contradictory of him to receive the representative of a government that gags freedom of speech?
Robert de Niro can travel whenever he wishes, does he not think it’s contradictory of him to receive the representative of a government that limits its citizens’ freedom of movement both nationally and internationally?
Robert de Niro is free to act in movies such as Wag the Dog, does he not think it’s contradictory of him to receive the representative of a government that censors art?
Robert de Niro can meet with whomever he wishes, does he not think it’s contradictory of him to receive the representative of a government that limits freedom of association with an iron fist?
Is this the government that Robert de Niro and his millionaire friends would like to live under? Is this the government they want for the United States? If that’s the case, they could move to Cuba. If it isn’t, why the hell are they receiving the representative of this government with honors and publicly legitimizing his power?
Do Robert de Niro and his friends know what would happen to any Cuban (famous or not) who decided to receive the US president or speak badly about the Cuban government in public? They should know. Don’t they care? What’s their excuse?
I understand, and I share the hate, yes hate, that Robert de Niro has for Trump, but please understand that this figure who puts the world to shame was elected by his fellow countrymen and he will soon disappear from history. Do Robert de Niro and friends know who elected Diaz-Canel and that the Cuban people have no say about how long his term in office will be? Don’t they care?
I will take Robert de Niro’s wise words, which he addressed to Trump at the Tony Awards, as my own now and say, Fuck You Robert!