[Marxism] Cuba Arrests Dissidents 2 Weeks After U.S. Accord
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 2 07:22:00 MST 2015
The New York Times, January 2, 2015 Friday
Cuba Again Arrests Artist Seeking Dissidents' Release
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
MEXICO CITY -- A performance artist advocating free speech in Cuba was
arrested for the third time in two days on Thursday, her supporters
said, along with several dissidents after they went to a jail demanding
the release of government opponents rounded up in a crackdown this week.
The artist, Tania Bruguera, who was born in Cuba and splits her time
between there and New York, had made clear in statements after her
initial detention this week that she was determined to see the release
of everyone else who had been detained.
The Cuban authorities called her plan a political provocation. Although
it denied her a permit for her performance, it had sought to negotiate
for an alternative site, but Ms. Bruguera said the sides could not agree.
Ted Henken, a professor at Baruch College who has written on social
movements in Cuba, said Ms. Bruguera had not been known as a major
dissident figure, but her art often reflected perceived political
injustices in Cuba and elsewhere. The daughter of a Cuban diplomat, she
has explored in her work what she considers the promise and the failings
of the revolution.
"It's a good thing," Mr. Henken said, "that the welcome news two weeks
ago of the diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Cuban
governments is accompanied now with a vivid reminder that the Cuban
government still needs to open up to the Cuban people and begin
dismantling the often overlooked internal embargo it holds on the
exercise of fundamental freedoms of the Cuban people."
Ted Henken is the same person whose article on blogging in Cuba I just
forwarded. He blogs at http://elyuma.blogspot.com/.
He is like a number of CUNY professors, including a Cuban-American in my
wife's department, who are Cubanologists of the left. They opposed the
blockade, support the preservation of what works in Cuba such as free
medical care, but support an expansion of political freedoms and
microenterprises of the sort that the government has already sanctioned.
I find it interesting that Tania Bruguera is the daughter of a Cuban
diplomat. In the late 80s I worked closely with a high-ranking official
of the Cuban Mission to the UN who was trying to get Tecnica working in
Cuba. After the FBI charged us with trying to set up an espionage
network, we were forced to suspend the program.
About 5 years after our contact, the official wrote me a long and
anguished letter about how he had become disaffected with the Cuban
government, mostly focused on the problem of being able to express
criticisms of various policies.
Cuba will be walking a tightrope now. There are those in the USA who
will be trying to exploit new openings to reverse the socialist
experiment while there are those in Cuba hoping to use them to make
socialism work. If we can't distinguish between the two, we are useless.
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