With Cuban artists held as political prisoners, the Castro regime invites exiled artists to an art festival

Cuban artists and political prisoners Maykel “El Osorbo” Castillo and Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara.

In a desperate attempt to revive its failing apartheid tourism industry, the communist Castro dictatorship is inviting exiled artist to a new art festival in Havana. All while holding Cuban artists as political prisoners and banning Cuban American artists from the island.

Via CubaNet:

Cuban regime invites artists from the diaspora to a new festival

The same dictatorial government that didn’t allow Celia Cruz to enter the island to bury her parents and doesn’t permit Willy Chirino to perform in Cuba is now extending invitations to artists in the diaspora.

Through their Facebook page, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba have announced the Festival of Culture with Cuban Residents Abroad III, “Cuba goes with me.”

The event is planned to take place from November 2nd to 12th, 2023, in the Cuban capital.

“This edition will be a new opportunity for Cuban artists and intellectuals residing in other countries to share their art with the Cuban public and with those who visit us,” the post details.

The festival, also intended to attract tourism the country still struggles to regain, aims to include established artists as well as younger ones beginning their careers.

The event will be held in a hybrid format (both in-person and virtual). Presentations will occur across various art forms, with an emphasis on weekend programming in theaters and artistic spaces in Havana.

“There will also be visits to art schools and community projects, as well as contests for children and young descendants of Cubans residing abroad.”

In order to generate additional income alongside the festival, a Forum will be held offering participants opportunities and information to advance cooperation projects and business related to the sphere of Cuba’s Cultural and Creative Industries.

The Ministry of Culture will provide spaces for presentations and the display of visual arts; the artistic production of musical and theatrical performances, as well as logistical support for rehearsals.

The presentations will be broadcast through the Clave Channel and other promotional spaces on Cuban Television.

Finally, the statement invites interested parties to contact the respective Cuban diplomatic representations abroad or the Organizing Committee via email at cubavaconmigo23@cubarte.cult.cu.

This new festival, similar to what happened with the Santa María festival, seems to be another attempt by the regime to attract capital for Cuba’s struggling economy.

Last month, a new report from PEN International highlighted widespread and systematic practices of harassment, surveillance, abuse, censorship, and repression suffered by artists considered dissidents or subversive by the Cuban Government.

“Due to their creative expression and participation in protest movements, these artists have been subjected to a wide range of repressive acts, including surveillance, threats, house arrest, arbitrary detention, torture, and in numerous cases, forced exile,” the document states.

Currently, there are several artists imprisoned in Cuba due to their ideology or political stances. Among them, the most recognized are Luis Manuel Otero and Maykel Castillo.

1 thought on “With Cuban artists held as political prisoners, the Castro regime invites exiled artists to an art festival”

  1. Don’t bother blaming the regime, because this is just its standard operating procedure. Blame anyone from the “diaspora” who’d play along with it. Alas, there are such people, and the regime knows it.

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