Since Ana de Armas has never spoken out on the suffering of the Cuban people at the hands of the communist Castro dictatorship, the regime in Havana welcomed her to the island with open arms. They had a feeling De Armas’ reluctance to say anything that would jeopardize future trips to Cuba or her status among leftists in Hollywood could work in their favor, and boy were they right.
With photos of De Armas frolicking in Havana, visiting the regime’s propaganda institutions, and meeting with the dictatorship’s celebrities, the Castro regime immediately jumped on the opportunity to use her image and fame to promote itself. For them, the visit by Ana de Armas and the images of her having such a great time are proof that communist Cuba is a wonderful place (via Diario de Cuba – my translation):
The magazine La Jiribilla, published by the regime’s Ministry of Culture, published an article on Friday on the visit by Ana de Armas and how it’s coverage in state-run media is considered proof of Cuba’s openness.
“Let her come to Cuba and enjoy her vacations, let her do it every once in a while, it says much more than any statement she could make. She can try and say there is no openness in Cuba, but her visit belies that, and the positive coverage of her visit by the Cuban press does as well. She needs to say something, the hegemonic powers of cultural imperialism demand it,” wrote the article’s author Ernesto Estevez Rams.
“The fact that she feels safe coming here and seeing her smiling on Cuban streets; going to La Colmenita, enjoying her family and friends, is a declaration in itself. One that no one here asked her for. The machine of hate is well aware of that and that’s why they criticize her and are pressuring her, as is their custom, to make a statement according to their agenda of infamy. I don’t know if she’ll do it tomorrow, you have to have courage to resist the mud-slinging machine that, if it doesn’t fold, is looking for Hollywood to cancel her,” Estevez Rams continued.
The author, who doesn’t specify who is making demands of the actress, appears to be referencing activists and Cubans, mostly in exile, who have asked De Armas to make a statement on the reality of life in Cuba.
“Our press is doing the right thing reflecting on her visit when it doesn’t succumb to cultural colonialism — the self-promotion continues — Ana de Armas is an actress who is successful in Hollywood. She is a public figure. But if our press succumbs to cultural colonialism and portrays her as a model of success, as is fashionable to not be pedantic, then we have a problem. The problem wouldn’t be Ana, but our own press. If it succumbs to that, then we’ve gone beyond Ana being a person with all the good will we can offer her to Ana being a cultural symbol, and that’s something else altogether.”
Only Ana knows her true intentions when she decided to visit Cuba again, but it’s very likely she neither wanted to be a promoter of the Castro dictatorship nor a promoter of human rights for the Cuban people. From the outside, it seems she wanted to be neutral and just have a good time visiting family and friends in her place of birth. However, she apparently never took the time to think this out. If she had, she would’ve come to the realization that one cannot be neutral in the face of brutality, oppression, and crimes against humanity. When you visit Satan’s home, you can’t claim you don’t believe in God or the devil.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this affair is that De Armas knows well how oppressive and brutal the Castro dictatorship truly is. Back in 2020, her own brother, visual artist Javier Caso, was detained and interrogated by State Security (see video below) for associating with other dissident artists on the island. That Ana would allow herself to be used as a propaganda tool by the same regime that oppressed her own brother says more about her character than it does her judgment.
While Ana likes to pretend she can be neutral in the face of evil — she is an actress, after all — we know, and she knows, that’s impossible. And if the oppression her own brother suffered wasn’t enough to dissuade her from putting herself into a position where she would become a propaganda prop for the Castro dictatorship, the suffering of the Cuban people would do so even less.