Cuban culture embodies the spirit of freedom and self-determination that has marked the Cuban people for nearly two centuries. That’s why the left wants to rewrite it. Thankfully, Cuban artists living under a totalitarian dictatorship still embrace real Cuban culture and are fighting to preserve it.
Celebrating real Cuban culture and the artists defying totalitarian efforts to rewrite it
Let us no longer shout “Homeland and Death” but “Homeland and Life”
“Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth,” observed George Orwell in his essay, “The Prevention of Literature” in the journal Polemic, published in January 1946. Writers that refuse to go along with alteration of the past all too often pay a terrible price. This is also true for artists in other fields because totalitarians seek to control the culture.
Ángel Cuadra, who passed away on February 13, 2021, was a Cuban lawyer, writer, poet, and actor who in 1967 was sentenced to 15 years in prison and in February 1977 Amnesty International highlighted his case and recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. He was paroled for four months in 1976, but returned to prison to serve out his sentence after a book of his poems were published abroad. Castro could not tolerate independent cultural expression and punished him with another five years in prison followed by forced exile.
Those who wish to be fooled by the totalitarians fall for their lies time and time again, but facts intrude for those seeking the truth. On February 12, 2021 the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) “described as a mockery against freedom of the press and expression a series of measures of economic opening that the Cuban regime dictated and that leaves out the exercise of independent journalism.” No doubt those seeking to legitimize the dictatorship in Havana will want to once again give it the benefit of the doubt.
But those who recognize Cuba’s past and listen to its authentic cultural expressions in the present have captured truths that point to the regime monstrous nature. New generations in Cuba today, such as the San Isidro Movement, continue the work of Ángel Cuadra defending the existence of objective truth, and recovering the past the dictatorship in Havana continues trying to erase.
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