In the wake of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s death, Andy Garcia expressed his “deep sorrow” for the Cuban people who have lived under Castro’s rule, in a statement shared with Variety on Saturday.
Garcia, the actor and director known for such films as “The Godfather: Part III” and “The Untouchables,” was born in Havana, Cuba.
“It is necessary for me to express the deep sorrow that I feel for all the Cuban people both inside and outside of Cuba that have suffered the atrocities and repression caused by Fidel Castro and his totalitarian regime,” Garcia wrote. “The promises of his so-called revolution of pluralism and democracy, were and continue to be a false promise and a betrayal of all basic human rights.”
He added, “The executions, persecution and imprisonment of political dissidents and the LGBT community, denial of free press, elections and religious freedoms, continue to be his legacy. He claimed that history would absolve him, but it can also condemn him.”
Garcia said that he stands, as he always has, with Cuban people who “love, cherish and celebrate liberty. Hard-working, helpful people who open their hearts and homes to all, whether in Cuba or in exile.”
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He concluded, “I pray for what I have always prayed for: the restoration of our constitution and absolute freedom for the people of Cuba. That dream is very much alive, that fight is very much alive. Let the spirit of Jose Marti and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. show us the way.”
Castro died on Friday night at age 90.