‘The Regime… Has Been Fatally Wounded’: Cuban Artists Refuse To Make Government Propaganda
People demonstrate waving Cuban flags during a protest against the Cuban government at Tamiami Park in Miami, on July 13, 2021. - Washington warned Haitians and Cubans against trying to flee to the United States as they endure domestic unrest, saying the trip is dangerous and they would be repatriated. (Photo by Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP) (Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

Cuban artists are refusing to make propaganda for the island’s communist government.

In the wake of worsening economic conditions and suppression of civil liberties in Cuba, citizens took to the streets in protest of the nation’s regime. Many point to a song written by a group of native-born artists entitled “Patria Y Vida” — “Fatherland and Life” — as a spark for the protests.

On Twitter, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Cuban-American, noted that other artists are resigning from the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) — which, according to its website, exists to “combat all activity contrary to the principles of the Revolution.”

“The big picture on #Cuba is that the regime is still alive, but it has been fatally wounded,” tweeted the lawmaker. “An irreversible breach now exists between them & the people as evidenced by a growing list of prominent artists announcing they will no longer participate in government activities.”

As highlighted by Rubio, Yunior García Aguilera — a playwright — explained:

I publicly renounce my status as a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). I cannot continue to belong to an organization that turns its back on a considerable part of the people and chooses to show obedience to an abusive power. I cannot remain in a choir that sings praises to those who ordered the repression against the youth and the combat among Cubans. I cannot be part of a group of artists and intellectuals who have preferred silence or complicity. And I am not prompting anyone to do the same. I just can’t, I’m sorry, I’m fed up.

José Luis Aparicio Ferrera — a producer and director — said:

I will not enter my films in any festival or government sponsored event or write copy for any of their publications. I do not plan to participate in any official activities from now on. It’s not much, but it is what I decided.

Carlos Lechuga — a film director and author — added: 

I cannot be part of a social life where a minister of culture is a hitter, the president of the country is a murderer, and the institutions support this. I resign from the UNEAC… it’s not a significant gesture, it’s nothing, but I can sleep better.

On Wednesday, Rubio shared reports of fractures within the Cuban regime, as some leaders were reportedly uneasy with harsh crackdowns on protesters. 

Spain-based news site ABC Internacional reported that Vice Minister of the Interior Brigadier General Jesús Manuel Burón Tabit “resigned after questioning decision-making within the ministry and the Security Council, as well as the excessive use of police force to repress the demonstrations.”

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