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news item

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Cuban actor Luis Alberto Garcia on Trump: I am an uncomfortable mambí

by: La Jiribilla, Cuba

Luis Alberto Garcia
Luis Alberto Garcia

Top Cuban actor Luis Alberto Garcia has published his wry but impassioned response in Cuban cultural magazine La Jiribilla to US president Trump's announcement in a theatre in Florida about the future of Cuba-US relations.

"I am an uncomfortable mambí. Insurgent. Always irredent. Those who love me very much, those who love me less, those who hate me and even those who do not trust me know that I am right and wrong, always out of conviction and not out of compulsion. It is what every day enables you to lay your head on the pillow without internal wrinkles.

If I think about so much vital and banal stuff, and I share those things that shake the floor on the few occasions I use Facebook, I do not want and cannot stop saying what I think, without pressure or suggestions and in my way, about the work carried out by the present American president in a theatre in Florida some days ago:

I did not like the location, the name of the room, the casting, the figuration, the contents of the libretto, the dramaturgy, the performances, the work of the ‘historical' advisers (I imagine there were), nor the stage, or the music. The costume and makeup departments worked well.

I find it impossible from all points of view, impossible, to pay attention to a group of Cubans who claim to want the best for their people and pretend to do so under a flag and a hymn that are not those of their country of origin. That's weird. Very rare. I do not share their path. It reeks of annexation from 90 miles away.

If that same group applauds in a very enthusiastic way that its people continue harassing and trying to cause hunger and more misery, I automatically do not agree with it. And together with me, an immense majority that in this archipelago we have experienced the green ones, the mature ones and the rotten ones. Similarly, I know that there are hundreds of thousands of compatriots scattered throughout the world, who want to end the suffocation and siege to their peers, which has lasted for decades.

That the group of actors and extras in that "motivito" [little motivational act], in addition, cheers the return to the long night of imperial bravado and imperial ukases [decrees] of Goliath against David, frightens and disqualifies itself completely in their hopes of influencing the future life of their people. People have the memory of an elephant. And hatred is a weed.

Things were moving. Slowly, but they were moving. Obama and Raúl, respectfully and, above all, respecting themselves, were achieving it for the benefit of two nations, two peoples. I could say even for the good of the continent. Moreover, from Patagonia to Alaska.

Now we are back to "stop motion". At the domino game locked with two teams full of fat pieces. Even if Goliath makes himself handsome, no matter how big he is, David has no fear. As it always has been.

There are many good things that excite me about my land. And many others that I do not like in the country where I live today. I fight, I suffer and wear myself out for the life I want for me and mine, from here. It will be "the utopia of utopias" for some. Or a stupid dream. But it is mine. And in that dream, wrong or not, the flag has a single star and the Bayamo hymn [Cuban national anthem] sounds. And in it fit all those born under the royal palms and their descendants, beyond their ideological or political positions as long as they think and defend from the heart, with dignity and common sense, what will be better, really, for all Cubans . That phrase "with everyone and for the good of all" is not dead.

I would absolutely not want the Cuban president to try to dance in Trump's house. He has not. And he will not.

In the same way I do not want Trump to direct the choreography in my house. He doesn't have the key.

PS: And now, the Taliban of all denominations will come for me. I'm ready."

Link to original article in La Jiribilla in spanish here

Translated from spanish by Google Translate & Cuba50. Apologies for the brilliant Cuban cultural references lost in translation.

You can also read the statement made by Cuban artists and writers union UNEAC made in response to Trump's June announcement here

The term mambi refers to the guerrilla Cuban independence soldiers who fought against Spain in the Ten Years' War (1868-78) and Cuban War of Independence (1895-98).

Luis Alberto García is one of Cuba's most famous actors and lives in Cuba.
After graduating from Havana's Instituto Superior de Arte Superior (ISA) in 1984, he appeared in Algo Mas Que Soñar, a television series about four young men sent to fight in Angola. With its cinematic production values and refusal to romanticise war, the series proved to be a turning point for Cuban television as well as for Luis Alberto's career.

In 1986 he moved to cinema and today has more than 60 leading roles to his credit, among them Cuban classics such as Clandestinos (1987), Plaff (1989), Adorables Mentiras (1990), Guantanamera (1995), La Vida es Silbar (1998), Un Paraíso Bajo las Estrellas (1999), Perfecto Amor Equivocado (2003), Madrigal (2006) and El Premio Flaco (2008). He has received numerous acting prizes and has represented Cuban cinema at festivals around the world.

He won a national award for Best Actor in 1988 for Clandestinos.


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