Gérard Depardieu, the good friend of despots

At the sudden tension of the servers, everyone felt itPresident was arriving. It’s already dark, the headlights are piercing the darkness and now half a dozen military vehicles are crossing the tropical garden. To see these soldiers and these armed bodyguards surrounding a car more imposing than the others, one could believe in one of these spy films in which Gérard Depardieu never starred. The actor is there, he comes down the steps of the superb hacienda and comes to recognize the protagonist of this particular evening.

Khaki cotton jacket, gray beard, Fidel Castro gives “my friend” to this Frenchman whose successes he sometimes projects in the cinema of his presidential palace. Whenever Depardieu comes to Cuba, in the Falcon of businessman Gérard Bourgoin, the world’s number one poultry seller, Lider Maximo makes it a point of honor to dine with the actor. He also receives him as an illustrious guest: a delegation to welcome him at the airport, a splendid villa to host him and hunting or fishing trips to Cayo Piedra, a preserved islet in Guantanamo Bay.

Depardieu adores these dinners where cooking recipes, songs and memories of women are discussed. Fidel knows few words of French, Gérard has kept a patina of Spanish from the filming of Christopher Columbusin Costa Rica and Spain, in 1991. Not bad, the wine makes the presence of the interpreter superfluous – Bourgoin always carries loads of chickens and Depardieu cases of Chablis and his Anjou wine.

Castro is a man the way the actor likes it. Build similar to him, talkative like him, charismatic and famous all over the world. It doesn’t matter if he imprisons his opponents or forces them into exile. It doesn’t matter if the island’s economic situation is catastrophic and if the population is hungry. Depardieu did not see the queues in front of empty shops. He nor he deciphered the graffiti on the walls of Havana erasing Castro’s slogan. “Socialism or Death!” » of one ” What difference ? “.

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In any case, he talks little about politics with the dictator. “It’s not me, a little French actor, who is going to say things to Fidel Castro. He offers me grapefruit, I offer him wine. I don’t do politics.”he answers World, who asks him. If one insists, he sweeps away any discussion: “I know very well that every revolution has blood. We also cut off heads during the French Revolution…” Undoubtedly they are not friends, but for having given life to so many historical figures, Danton, Christophe Colomb or Rodin, Depardieu looks like a connoisseur to the man from Havana.

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