Open Letter to Cuba's Vice Minister of Culture
I offer, again today, a guest post. This open open letter to Cuba's Vice
Minister of Culture was written by blogger Claudia Cadelo, in response
to a decision to ban the performance art group, OmniZonaFranca, from
performing in public places. It needs no further introduction.
Open Letter to Fernando Rojas:
I am writing to you with the intent to offer advice. Let us say that
from my 26 years, I have decided today to serve for a few moments as
your mother, or your conscience, however you would like to interpret it.
So I write this to Fernando Rojas, the man, and not the Vice Minister of
Culture, to whom, perhaps, more than once in your childhood, your mother
said, "Fernandito, to the girls, it is not done."
They say–and you know what weight is given to the third person plural
in Havana–that during the infamous meeting that you had with the
artists of the performance group, OmniZonaFranca, one of the
justifications offered for banishing the Festival of Poetry Without End
from Cuban institutions, was that the boys were meeting with the blogger
Yoani Sanchez. The resolutions and laws that your ministry has
promulgated to limit the entry of citizens to establishments and
activities are not known to me, but it is not about the laws that I wish
to speak, because in the waters of the law, Rojas, your ministry has not
bathed for a very long time.
What worries me is your threat, "If Yoani Sanchez comes, I myself will
meet her with a stick." Serious words, Fernando, for a man. But even
more serious for a Vice Minister who–according to comments from the
"cultured" corridors–aspires to lose the prefix "vice". However, this
is not a reprimand, rather it is a call to sanity, civility,
intelligence. I remember that, for these duties, the government has the
paramilitaries, the rapid response brigades, and as a last resort, the
CIM (Military Counterintelligence); it does not seem advisable to me
that a staff member take these tasks on himself, much less announce it
in advance as, leaked through the Internet, it might reach inappropriate
Considering that everyone knows Yoani Sanchez is a writer and you are
the Vice Minister of Culture, I would say that an atmosphere of terror
doesn't agree with you, and that the image of your delivering a beating
is regrettable and unfortunate.
On the other hand, I could be mistaken and your vice may be nothing more
than an alibi, in which case you would belong to one of the above
mentioned organizations whose job it is to beat civilians. In that case
your sin would probably be the indiscretion, because after publicly
threatening to attack the physical integrity of a citizen, it is hard to
believe, Fernando, that you are only an official in the Ministry of Culture.
Claudia Cadelo De Nevi
Yoani Sanchez: Open Letter to Cuba's Vice Minister of Culture (23