Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Raul Castro Tells Intellectuals That Cuban Culture is Threatened

Raul Castro Tells Intellectuals That Cuban Culture is Threatened / EFE,

EFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 23 August 2016 – Cuban President Raul Castro
warned in a message to the island's intellectuals and artists that the
country's culture is threatened by "subversive projects" and a "global
wave of colonization," although he is confident that they can confront
the challenge, according to an article in the official media published
this Tuesday.

The letter, read last night during the celebration of 55 years of the
official Cuban Writers and Artists Union (UNEAC), congratulates an
institution "that was born in a decisive stage of the Cuban Revolution"
and has been "at the service of culture, considered by Fidel as 'the
nation's shield and sword'."

"Today we are doubly threatened in the field of culture: by subversive
projects that aim to divide us and by the global wave of colonization.
UNEAC will continue to face these complex challenges with with courage,
revolutionary commitment and intelligence," says the statement, read by
the president of the organization, Miguel Barnet.

Castro's statement made reference to the 1961 Words To The
Intellectuals of his brother, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, among other
events that preceded the creation of UNEAC, and mentioned its first
president, the "great" Nicolas Guillen, Cuba's national poet.

"On getting to this day my congratulations go to the founders and the
generations that have given continuity to the work begun in August
1961," concludes the message, which appears in newspapers above the
signature of Raul Castro.

In recent months, after the formal restoration of relations with the
United States with the reopening of the embassies in both countries in
July 2015, Cuba has become a fashionable destination among artists and
intellectuals of all kinds, who have seen something of a thaw in the

Havana has served as the backdrop for the filming of TV shows and movies
such as House of Lies and the most recent episodes of the cinematic
sagas Fast and Furious and Transformers, while celebrities such as Katy
Perry, Rihanna and Madonna have walked its streets.

In a display never before seen in the country, The Rolling Stones gave a
free concert in March in Havana, an unthinkable event in previous decades.

A month later, important figures from the United States in all fields of
art and intellectuality formed a delegation of over 50 members and
guests of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, which
arrived in Havana with the support of the US President to strengthen
cultural ties.

In May, couturier Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel staged a milestone in the
history of the island by bringing together celebrities and supermodels
in an unprecedented parade of the prestigious French fashion house's
haute couture, which disembarked for the first time in Latin America
with its Cruise Collection.

However, last July Cuba's Council of State, at the proposal of President
Raul Castro, ousted Minister of Culture Julian Gonzalez, who was
provisionally replaced by Abel Prieto, who had previously held that
responsibility for 15 years until 2012.

The dismissal was announced in a terse official note published in the
official media, in which, as is common in Cuba, the reasons for the
ouster were not mentioned.

Source: Raul Castro Tells Intellectuals That Cuban Culture is Threatened
/ EFE, 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -

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