Hunter Thompson and Johnny Depp’s “People to People” Cuba trip


“Hunter (Thompson) wanted to interview Castro, but we never got through to him, so the story turned into our adventures down there. He referred to me as “Ray, my bodyguard.” It was wonderful—just me and Hunter prowling around Havana, going to these various restaurants or homes that you’re not supposed to go and eat at, but you’re invited. It was totally ludicrous and surreal.” Johnny Depp, The Daily Beast


The Good Doktor and Depp undertook their Cuba trip during (their friend) Pres. Clinton’s term. But then:

The “people-to-people” license program was halted under President George W. Bush but restarted by the Obama administration in 2011.

Actually, the Good Doktor and Depp used the cover of a “journalist” visa/license through Rolling Stone magazine.

“A Journalist visa is a very important & professionally desirable thing to have in Cuba. It confers a sort of VIP status & political access, as well as immunity to prosecution under the goddamn Helms-Burton Act. Let’s give it a whirl in Havana. We could both load up on Absinth & trash a nice suite in the Hotel Nacional. Invite 50 or 60 Beautiful People to a party /celebration in honor of Che Guevara, which then “got out of hand.” Depp jailed after orgy in Cuba, Prostitutes seized after melee in Penthouse, Actor denies treason charges.

Why not? I do in fact have a balcony suite at the Hotel Nacional..I am going to Cuba to pay my respects to the Cuban people & to thank Castro for the Beauty of his Dream. But I am mainly going for Fun.” (Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear p. 222)


From a Publisher’s Weekly book review:

“Memoir adds to the madhouse mix, with Fontova’s flashbacks erupting in an onslaught of anecdotes. Fontova’s voice is powerful and compelling, and the hog hunt finale is worth the wait. The end result is something like Deliverance as written by Hunter Thompson.” Publisher’s Weekly, Nov. 2003

7 thoughts on “Hunter Thompson and Johnny Depp’s “People to People” Cuba trip

  1. “I am going to Cuba to pay my respects to the Cuban people & to thank Castro for the Beauty of his Dream.” I assume, out of charity, that he was stoned out of his mind when he said that. Otherwise, he has no clue what respect means, and as for Castro’s dream, it was never for or about Cuba and Cubans, but about him, the only thing he ever really cared about. Jeez, so many idiots, so little time.

  2. Indeed, Asombra. You’re tempted to say that someone with Hunter’s lifestyle wouldn’t last two minutes in Cuba–BUT!, s we all know, if he dutifully served the regime with propaganda, he would have lived like a KING down there!

  3. The lucky cretin even played the role of a degenerate communist lieutenant at La Cabaña in the autobiographical film “Before Night Falls” and the realities of the place still do not register as reality or anything other than a fun joke worth promoting.

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