âWe, artists from all over the world, stand in solidarity with our Cuban colleagues. As a journalist and writer, I believe in denouncing and opposing governments, I believe that if an intellectual, a writer or an artist stands against a government, he is performing an indispensable task. It is no wonder that some want to silence us when we are the voice of those who otherwise would not be heard. They are afraid of the truth because, once revealed, it cannot be hidden or contained â. With these words the Mexican Elena Poniatowska, winner of the Cervantes Prize in 2013, among many other accolades, explained her position against the Cuban regime.
Poniatowska, along with 300 other internationally renowned artists, called on Cuban authorities to release all artists arbitrarily arrested on the island during this year of protests.
American actress Meryl Streep Nobel Prize for Turkish Literature Orhan pamuk, but also Mario Vargas Llosa, Isabelle Allende, Paul Auster, Zadie Smith, JM Coetzee, Jules Feiffer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie And Bianca Jagger. They are all signatories to a joint statement on Cuba from PEN International, Artists at Risk Connection from PEN America and Human Rights Watch.
This appeal calls on the Cuban government to respect freedom of expression, free artists who have been arbitrarily detained, reject abusive criminal charges and allow those forced into exile to return to Cuba.
In the declaration, the signatories call on the Cuban government to respect the fundamental role of art and artists in society, and to immediately end the crackdown on those who express political and social criticism.
At the end of November 2020, around 300 artists demonstrated in Havana to demand more respect for freedom of expression. This initiative was the start of a series of protests, the largest on the island since 1959.
Many participants, including the performers of the song that has become a symbol of the protests, “Patria e Vita, have been arrested and must face” unfair and unfounded charges. [â¦] others are the subject of arbitrary criminal trials or have been forced to leave the country, âthe document said. Cuban authorities accuse the organizers of the protests of being US-trained and funded agents to bring about regime change in Cuba.
“To stop artists or to force them to go into exile forever from their artistic creation – add the intellectuals -, from their words and their ideas, is an abusive and inhuman act”.