Sergio Corrieri, President of ICAP dies

Campaign News | Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Sergio Corrieri Hernandez, renowned stage and screen actor and President of the Cuban Institute for the Friendship with the Peoples died on 1st March 2008

Sergio was perhaps best known in the UK for his starring role as the intellectual who remains in Cuba after the Revolution in the legendary 1968 film, ‘Memorias del subdesarrollo/Memories of underdevelopment’.

Born in Havana on 2 March 1939, Corrieri became an actor at the age of 17. He had a long and pioneering career in Cuban cinema, TV, theatre and teaching. He was centrally involved in the Cuban Institute of Arts and Film Industry (ICAIC) from its foundation, and as a director and actor, worked on 17 films.

He entrenched his place in Cuban people’s affections for his unforgettable role in the popular TV series ‘En silencio ha tenido que ser’; he was a founder of the National School of Arts Instructors in 1960 and also founded the Grupo Teatro Estudio, then in 1968 the Escambray Theatre Group,

In 1968 Sergio founded the Escambray Theatre Group which broke new ground in contemporary Cuban theatre working in the mountains of central Cuba.

By then Sergio was already one of Cuba's greatest actors, and had filmmaking offers from Spain, Italy and the Soviet Union, but he chose Escambray. Just before leaving for the Escambray, he had completed the film Memories of Underdevelopment, directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

Corrieri also had a parallel distinguished career in politics: an activist in the revolution since the 50’s, in 1987 he was made head of culture within the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party; from 1976 until recently he was a deputy in the Cuban National Assembly and from 1998-2003 a member of the Council of State; from 1990 he was President of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).

As President of the Cuban Institute for the Friendship with the Peoples, ICAP, since 1990, Sergio Corrieri was a figurehead for international solidarity with Cuba around the world.

ICAP was created in 1960 to promote solidarity, as expressed by the First Declaration of Havana which stated: "Every people should show solidarity with peoples under oppression, colonisation, exploitation and aggression, no matter where they are and no matter how far away from one another. All the peoples of the world are brothers and sisters!"

On his work with ICAP, he said "the strongest solidarity consciousness is when our friends identify themselves with Cuba's struggle as their own, and not something taking place parallel with their own struggle? There is no just cause in the world which Cuba won't support".

Sergio Corrieri Hernández died 3rd March aged 69.

Cuba Solidarity Campaign statement

On hearing of his death, CSC issued the following statement.


On behalf of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in the UK we would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Sergio's family, colleagues and friends. We are all deeply saddened by this terrible loss. Sergio visited the UK on a number of occasions and his words inspired us all in our efforts to develop our work to strengthen the bonds of friendship and international solidarity between the people of UK and Cuba.

Sergio has left a lasting legacy that will continue to inspire all our efforts on behalf of the just cause that is Cuba, and the finest tribute we can pay is to live up to his deep sense of commitment.

We have lost a true and committed friend.

Ken Gill (Chair) Rob Miller (Director)

Watch a film clip from Memories of Underdevelopment at:

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