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Actor Andy García on returning to Cuba: “It’s like asking a Jew if he would return to Nazi Germany”

Cuban-American actor Andy García flatly rejected the idea of ​​visiting his home country while it was governed by Castroism, although he admitted that he longed to return “every day.”

In an interview for The New York Times, the actor is asked if he ever considered going to the island after the Obama administration eased travel restrictions to Cuba for US citizens in 2015.

Garcia responded with a resounding “no” and then gave his arguments. “It’s like asking a Jew if he would return to Nazi Germany,” said the Cuban-American known for his roles in The Untouchables, The Godfather: Part III and The Big Swindle.

“But I have been critical of that regime; if it were, they would use it to say, “Look, he thinks we’re doing the right thing. He’s here on vacation.” They won’t let us go in there to do a concert and say what I think. But I did go back to the Guantánamo Bay naval base with Gloria and Emilio (Estefan). We did a concert for the rafters in 1995. At that time, there were around 16,000 rafters in a makeshift camp,” he recalled.

“Once the US Interests Section in Havana invited us—at the time, there was no embassy there—to show my film The Lost City [from 2006 set in Cuba]. I said, “Can you guarantee my safety?” They replied, “We can’t.” And I replied: “Thank you for the invitation.” But I know many people who have been to Cuba and who are in the public eye. The Cubans who have left are being watched. There are government people following them,” he added.

Garcia, 66, also spoke about his new role in the HBO Max film “The Father of the Bride,” where he plays a proud Cuban architect in the United States from a conservative background.

“There is a psyche that immigrant populations have; in our case we are political exiles, who come to this country with a basic understanding that it is a place, with all its flaws and negatives, where you are free to express yourself and pursue your dreams,” he explained.

“We fled, with my parents, as many Cubans flee to this day, to seek freedom and opportunities for their families. And when you come here, you have a certain responsibility to honor that freedom and have a strong work ethic and better yourself and your family. That is prevalent in all immigrant stories,” he added.

In previous statements, García lamented the migratory situation that thousands of Cubans were currently going through due to the deficiencies on the island. “For me as a Cuban it is sad to see that people suffer, I pray that one day that regime will end,” he said then.

“They cannot give their people freedom, they cannot feed them and that is why people have been fleeing the country for 60 years,” said the actor, directly accusing the communist regime in Havana of the exodus.

This fiscal year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection had nearly 140,000 encounters with migrants from Haiti and Cuba so far, as opposed to about 88,000 last year, according to federal data last updated in May.

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Cubans in the streets push back the police of the dictatorship

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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