From Cuba: “Fuck You Robert de Niro”

By Repatriado

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

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.

  • Repatriado,
    Interesting comment about money spent in Cuba being sent abroad–is that what you meant? Most of us who travel to Cuba assume that in some situations, the money we spend is in fact staying in the hands of the people where we spend it. This is one of the most complicated things about being a visitor to Cuba. I know that in many cases even ‘privately’ owned businesses are not keeping most of the money we spend, but it would be interesting to hear some specifics about which transactions of money allow for the most money to stay in the hands of people. In Havana, taxi drivers, casas particulares, small restaurants, street vendors–and in places like Vinales, or Trinidad, for example, where many tourists visit, if it’s any different there. Thanks

  • Repatriado:
    My travel party is full this year. I will do my BEST to bring him with me next year as a regular tourist.

  • Nick, yes posada was very probably a CIA agent, are you sure he was not also a Cuban agent? Any American interested in knowing about Posada has access to tons of information about it, including Cuban information and American information.

    Again, American governments has done terrible things and they have no moral in the international politics, do you thing Cuban government is any batter? A little bit better? The only difference is that American people has a chance, little but real, to do something about it, Cuban people has none, American people have some basic freedoms that theirs governors haven’t take away yet, Cuban people has only the freedoms that our governors decide to allow depending in how convenient is that for them. And the most important: Cuban government defend a system that they know do not works, do not generate riches, do not generate technologies, do not generate science and that do not generate art, a system that Cuban governors only do not exercise to its last consequence because the rest of the world is watching, Nick, can you imagine a communist world? You don’t have to imagine too much, go and read 1984 again.

  • Nan nan black, don´t you see a huge difference between supporting the Cuban people in the way you describe and supporting Cuban dictator in the way Robert de Niro did? If one day Robert come to Cuba with the declared intention of supporting Cuban people, or at least just for his personal interest of visiting my country without and political background, I will be the first that will run to shake his hand.

    By the way, can you let me know how can you spend money in Cuba and do not support Cuban government at the same time? Do yo pay directly in dollars to a person that directly send those dollars abroad?

    Anyway, please continues coming, your absence or all American tourist absence won’t accelerate the government´s end, and for sure you are helping many people directly, me included.

  • It’s no joke Repatriado.
    Today is the anniversary of Flight 455.
    Perhaps Bobby de N did not mention this to the Cuban President. But maybe he did.
    There are two things I would like to point out: Firstly, it would be curious to learn what percentage of the U.S. population have even heard of this terrorist atrocity of exactly 42 years ago. And what percentage would be aware that the USA allowed the CIA-trained terrorist responsible for this atrocity to live out his years under their protection and as the ‘dirty little hero of Miami’ ??

    The second thing would be to totally agree with Nan ‘Nan’ Black’s comment below.

    People from different countries (with different systems and different problems) should meet up, intermingle, get to know each other and maybe even agree on some stuff.
    This can only be a good thing.

  • A lot of Americans are sympathetic towards the Cuban people. Many of us travel to Cuba for that reason. We spend money where we can to support Cubans when traveling to Cuba. Does this mean we should all f— off?

  • Watch your language. Is it really necessary to use words like “F___”? You are so capitalist minded.

  • that topic is too serious for a joke friend Nick, it would have being great if Robert excuse with the CUBAN PEOPLE for all the terrible things that the US government have done against Cuba for 120 years. After that, the CUBAN PEOPLE should thanks to Robert de Niro and the rest of the AMERICAN PEOPLE for all the good things the American, governments and people, has done for us during the last 120 years. After that, some fancy Cuban actor should say sorry for all the bad things that CUBAN GOVERNMENT has done to the AMERICAN PEOPLE and to LATIN AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    So, ALL GOVERMENTS have done bad things, Posada Carriles is a shame and a macule for the US government, I have no doubt, but, Robert de Niro didn´t talk to the CUBAN PEOPLE, he did it with the Cuban dictator, the parson who represent the totalitarian system I suffer.

    I have never said that the US government is a saint, they have done many awful things, from my point of view much less bad things that Germans, Britain or Russians when they were a world class power, but that is not the point now. The point, for me, is that I support all what Robert could say against Trump or his own government in general, he enjoys his freedom of speech, but I do not understand what do that has to do with to show support to a dictatorship that cut my own freedom.

  • Repatriado,
    In a couple of days it will be the 42nd anniversary of Flight 455 being brought down by a terrorist who was trained in the USA and was then protected by by the USA to the extent that he never had to answer for his terrorist crimes.
    Perhaps Robert de Niro wished to tell the Cuban President that he was embarrassed by these facts ??

  • Carmen,
    You wish to visit Cuba to ‘visit and walk around freely to see what i want to see. To visit the countryside, to see a Cuban show in a theater, a museum or to visit a sugarcane plantation that I remember as a child to drink “Guarapo”’.
    I am from the UK. I have done all these things in Cuba over the past 25 years. No problem at all. (For all it’s faults, Cuba is a fascinating and wonderful place).
    So what’s stopping you ?
    Oh yes. Perhaps the country where you can ‘live and move freely’ places restrictions on where in the world you can travel to. Perhaps the wonderful country within which you reside prevents you from doing what you wish to because of the bitterest of ideological and political reasons ???
    As I say I am from the UK. The governance of the UK is very imperfect as is the governance of all European countries but no European country attempts to impose ideological restrictions on travel as does the Government of the USA – so called ‘Land of the Free’.
    It’s the Land of the Free only as long as you do not wish to venture outside U.S. ideological jurisdiction.

  • I was a child when my family left Cuba in 1961. Did not understand then the “Politic” of it all. My parents wanted to stay but were afraid for their three children’s future. Wanted us to grow up free. Now I long to return to Cuba, but am frustrated that i can’t just go and visit and walk around freely to see what i want to see. To visit the countryside, to see a Cuban show in a theater, a museum or to visit a sugarcane plantation that I remember as a child to drink “Guarapo”. I think now those are the reasons my parents fled. To bring us to a country where we could live and move freely. To one day find ourselves and grow to be our own persons. Not to merely exist. For a person is not just checking “flesh” or we would be an animal with a different language. No, people are more than flesh and bones! We are “Soul and Spirit” too. I am thankful now my parents brought us to a place where we could develop into adults, and where our Soul and Spirit could breathe and and find themselves too.

  • If you want to mention “those times” in which Batista was president… I don’t recall many Cubans risking their lives via shark infested waters. So go figure… I say this to tell you that ultimately, the grass isn’t always greener but with the current state of Cuba and let’s say after 1959… it’s not green at all.

  • So, John Wallace´s theory is that we Cubans most thanks Fidel because he managed to gain and keep US attention? I think your generalization shows to little knowledge about Cubans and too much appreciation for the US attention. I am sorry for you if the Cubans you have met gave you the impression that we believe we are “better” for being Cubans, that is a mistake, we believe we are betters for many other reasons.

    Roberto Artica´s theory is the best, without Fidel we would be a country controlled by the mafia, jajaja, dear Roberto, that is exactly what Cuba is now, and yes, it is worse than PR. By the way, I will ask to my family living in Miami why do they want to prostitute and enslave us, I think I missed that part in our last conversation.

  • or much worse than PR, imagine a country controlled by gambling, mafia, and drug barons.
    But it seems that is what miami-cubans miss and want; to prostitute and enslave their brothers and sisters. Thus, I say, f&$k miami-cubans, all of them.

  • Whatever, it’s not like the cubans people are innocent of a lot of the situation in Cuba. This whole thing about wanting the U.S to close their eye on a diplomat regardless of the policy of the country. I left Cuba in the 60, and to honest I used to feel the same way, and slowly the cuban people have shown me another side which changes the dynamics of the whole cuba situation. The belief that they are better because they are cuban, and because they drive 1950 cars like they are the only country going through situation. Honestly speaking “Fuck Cuba” the United States has given to much importance to the island, and the man responsible for all the attention is the man they “Hate the Most” without fidel cuba would be another Puerto Rico.

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