A report reveals the MINCULT’s efforts to control provincial
intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs
DDC | Madrid | 20 Mayo 2016 – 10:18 am.
A report by the provincial Director of Culture in Ciego de Ávila,
Virginio Menéndez Moro, directed at national leaders in the sector,
reveals the regime’s efforts at the local level to control local
intellectuals, artists, independent creators and even workers under the
old pretext of “confronting ideological subversion.”
In the document, obtained by DIARIO DE CUBA, Menéndez Moro lists “tasks”
aimed at “preventing and, if necessary, confronting actions involving
ideological subversion that may arise” in the territory.
Among them, he mentions a “revolt” already underway at private
restaurants that, according to him, represents a violation of duties
agreed to between these owners and the Government.
The goal is to “try to establish what we are after” at Cuba’s family
restaurants, or paladares, in terms of “what customers are shown, the
atmosphere and the music,” says Menéndez Moro. “Visiting and meeting
with the owners, wherever necessary, has been suggested to carry out
this work,” he adds.
Sources in the Culture sector of Ciego de Ávila told DIARIO DE CUBA that
Menéndez Moro’s report is in circulation in the province, and was
apparently addressed to Vice-Minister Fernando Rojas.
In the text Moro Menéndez notes that the town’s cultural scene includes
“intellectuals and artists that make it complex.”
Among the “tasks” he mentioned was the “review and approval of Editorial
Plans, including the magazine Videncia.” The official stated that he
“personally” reviews the publication, adding that “to date the books
approved comply with the regime’s editorial policy.”
He also alluded to “attention to writers,” reporting that meetings have
been initiated “to give them the chance to think, and to gauge their
ideas,” and that he himself has taken it upon to himself to “take up the
“I believe that we are in a calm stage,” the Ministry of Culture
affirmed, reassuringly. “But it is a sector where attention must be a
Menéndez Moro explained that the Provincial Directorate of Culture also
works “on the review and approval of artistic scripts of different
activities,” and he believes that this role should be intensified,
“mainly in Music and the Performing Arts.”
He says that Ciego de Ávila’s cultural authorities “are bolstering the
Advisory Councils to supervise shows, on site.”
“We are doing the same thing at the Provincial Film Center, with both
the films and entertainment presented (…) the scripts must be reviewed
and approved,” he said.
In his report Menéndez Moro expresses regret for the meager results of
the “permanent control” over the use of Music, and blames “what is
disseminated through the mass media.”
“At times what we spread is not what most contributes to the interests
of our musical and cultural policy,” he criticized.
The regime’s cultural commissars, who for decades banned foreign groups,
and continue to censor many exiles, have demonstrated concern about the
appearance of genres like reggaeton on the Cuban music scene.
Menéndez Moro also speaks in his report of “engagement” with independent
audiovisual creators through “regular meetings.”
He indicated that the Provincial Directorate has “designed” a program to
“systematize” meetings with intellectuals and artists, something that he
describes as “a determining factor in the ideological battle” waged by
He explained that the town’s authorities have reached agreements with
the Government-backed Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (Cuban
Union of Writers and Artists) and the Asociación Hermanos Saíz (Brothers
Saíz Association) for them to participate in meetings of those sectors,
just like other local groups do.
The official says the agency also sees to approving “the sending of
collaborators to carry out missions (abroad), following consultation
with the agencies.” He did not specify which “agencies” he was referring
to; presumably, the Party and Union of Young Communists (Partido y la
Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas).
Menéndez Moro also revealed that the Provincial Directorate is in charge
of the approval of scholarships abroad. “We have issued warnings about
the presence of foreigners in our institutions interested in offering us
scholarships, grants, gifts, etc.,” he explained. “It is stipulated that
everything must immediately be put in our hands, so that we can act
The provincial director complained, moreover, that some actors, whom he
does not specify, “steal the spotlight” from the cultural institution in
“disadvantaged communities”. This is a “very negative factor, impeding
us from implementing the Master Values Plan as effectively as we
should,” he noted.
As another task of the Provincial Directorate, the official cited the
strengthening of computer security measures at its headquarters. “The
staff working there has special characteristics that we follow up on,”
In this regard he noted that “surprise visits are paid to subordinate
centers and institutions, and tracking is carried out to determine sites
visited, in the most important cases,” apparently referring to Internet
browsing by certain people.
“We are not approving Internet access,” says Menéndez Moro. “Right now
municipal administrations have it, along with some provincial
institutions, and those who pay for it,” he admitted.
Source: A report reveals the MINCULT’s efforts to control provincial
intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs | Diario de Cuba –