Andy Garcia explains why, despite a strong desire to return to Cuba, he would never do it.
Andy Garcia discussed how the film represents the generational divide in Spanish-speaking Latin families, his own daughters getting married around the time of the film’s release, and where he drew inspiration for his character, an architect and father of the bride named Billy, in an interview with The New York Times promoting his work on Father of the Bride.
Garcia began to speak on how being a Cuban immigrant and “in our case… political exiles” has moulded his sense of work ethic and identity as an American while noting how Billy is a “amalgamation of everybody I’ve ever known.” When asked if he want to return to Cuba, the actor says he does “every day,” but he will not.
“It’s the same of asking a Jew if they’d return to Nazi Germany,” he argues. “I don’t pass judgement because everyone has their own personal motive for going.” But I’ve been critical of that administration, and if I went, they’d say, ‘See, he thinks we’re doing the right thing.’ He’s on vacation here.’
It’s not a place where they’ll “allow us in there to do a concert and speak my mind,” according to Garcia. He does, however, recall going to the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in 1995 with Gloria and Emilio Estefan for a concert for some 16,000 Cuban refugees “in an interim camp.”
“The US interests section in Havana wanted us to exhibit my movie The Lost City one time – there wasn’t an embassy there at the time,” Garcia recalled, referring to his 2006 film set in Cuba. “‘Can you ensure my safety?’ I inquired. ‘We won’t be able to,’ they said. “Thank you for the invitation,” I said.
According to the Father of the Bride star, the possibility of surveillance will also keep him away. “I know a lot of folks who have visited Cuba and are well-known. The Cubans who have left are being observed. They’re being followed by federal officials.”