From Cuba: “Fuck You Robert de Niro”

By Repatriado

Miguel Diaz Canel and his wife with Robert de Niro. Photo: cubadebate.cu

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!


20 thoughts on “From Cuba: “Fuck You Robert de Niro”

  • You don’t recall Cubans risking shark infested waters…but do you recall the state of blacks and mulattos under the Bautista regime? Only whites with/without mafia ties had rights.

    Roberto Artica is right: it’s mostly white (if you’ve watched interviews you will have seen this) Cubans living in Miami (the descendants of those who profited from mafia ties) who want things to somewhat return as they were. Things may change very slowly there, but it’s not the same Cuba they left in the 60s.

  • Hi Heather, it is a shame for me because I love his old works, but I don´t know Deniro personally to be sure about what he meant giving this honorific reception to Cuban dictator representative, but the result was his support, as famous parson, to this “president” and his government.

    This attitude contributes to legitimize a totalitarian government that constantly violate Cuban people human’s rights.

    How can Deniro to hate so much to Trump and at the same time support a dictator?

    By the way, it is a pity what is going on in US, many people are accepting Trump´s way of ruling because they are having a short term good economic situation, but the price that US and the western idea of democracy in general are paying is huge.

    I am convinced that with all its mistakes and bad actions, the world still needs that the US be the main power, not for its foreign politics that sometimes is so stupid, poor and inhuman, like all the other foreign politics, but US still represents freedom, separation of powers, democracy and liberalism, even with big flaws, Trump is undermining that precisely, US role in the world.

    I am a close to forty Cuban father also trying to have clear what is happening ans what my children will receive from my generation.

  • Hi Dan, that conceptions is settled on false fundaments, the false fundament is that there are private property in Cuba and that dealing with the owner of a car, a housing or a restaurant you are skipping from giving money to Cuban dictators, I think that is wrong.

    There is not private property here, what we have is a permission, a recent one, to administrate little parts of Communist Party property.

    Just remember that Cubans cannot import or export nothing, so all the money you spend here, sooner or later will be used here to by spare parts for the car, material to repair the house or food to the restaurant, all of it will be bought to Cuban Government.

    I think that what you or any other traveler has to decide is if it is good reason enough to give money to some Cuban person directly, the administrators of the house, the car or the restaurant that will be happy taking your money, even when you know that that money will end in Cuban´s dictator hands.

    The answer for that is not clear to me.

    I use to give history and economics tours around Habana to Americans during Obama´s opening, my income were triple that today, do I want they return? For me and my family I do, in short term, but in the long run I don´t know.

    Other example, the editor of this webpage pays to its writers, something absolutely normal, to be paid for a work, I normally refuse to accept that money and do it for free, but sometimes I ask him some monetary helps, am I being a hypocrite?

    The money you personally spend here, the money a personally receive from HT´s editors, all that is peanuts and do not make any difference, even so, we are financing a dictatorship, is that correct?

  • It’s very interesting to learn about Cuba from the people who actually experience the culture and it is easier to rely on and understand conversations like yours than to trust the media’s perspectives. This is one of the best purposes the internet has provided.
    I’m an average lower middle-class European-descent New Jersey working mom in her 40s who is always trying to make better sense of this world. I’m becoming much more aware to the history and depths of systematic exploitation regarding many Latino and native settlements here in our West hemisphere.
    My question is this, “Is it possible Deniro met with Diaz-Canel to personally feel him out and try to get him to recognize the stuff that is going very wrong, hoping that even the tiniest bit of influence to help the people of Cuba is worthwhile?”
    My gut feels Deniro is a bit douche-y, but really i don’t know enough about him to trust my own instincts. I’m not sure one way or the other.

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