Statement by Casa de las Americas: Cuba belongs only to Cuba

A young man of migrant descent is killed by police. Thousands of people, outraged, take to the streets. Police repression is unleashed. Buildings and cars are set on fire, and dozens are injured. The number of arrests grows by the hour. France burns.

The Havana-based Casa de las Américas
The Havana-based Casa de las Américas

Finally, on July 7, the PEN Club of that country issued a statement condemning the repression… in Cuba.

It is an inventory of commonplaces and calumnies that is in line with the aging script of the anti-Cuban propaganda.  The maneuver was preceded by the harassment against poet and essayist Nancy Morejon, National Literature Prize winner and member, to our pride, of the Casa de las Americas family.

The PEN Club itself officially requested that her status as honorary president of a poetry festival in Paris be withdrawn for thinking the way she does.  They achieved their purpose, to the shame of all those who had to do with that infamy.

The new crusade of the French PEN Club for the “freedom” of Cuba coincides with the one that, from the United States and different European cities, some Cuban artists are leading, trapped by a political and commercial machinery, essentially alien to culture, which insists on discrediting the Cuban Revolution.

They insist on giving an epic dimension to the events of July 11 and 12, 2021 and to those who violently defied public order.  They wish for an explosive situation to occur in Cuba like the one that, ironically, reached its climax just a few days ago in the land of those literary crusaders.

More than surprising, it is sad that the French PEN Club ruthlessly attacks the foundations of Cuban institutionality and even an organization as valuable as the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.  It is also sad that it joins, enthusiastically and belligerently, the obsessive persecution against our country and the attempt to legitimize a policy that suffocates the Cuban people, following to the letter the agenda of the hegemonic superpower.  It is true that it is something usual in amanuenses and turiferarios; but it hurts to associate it with French writers.

We prefer to stay forever with the Victor Hugo who, at the request of the independence fighters who were fighting against the Spanish colonial power, wrote the message “For Cuba”, in which he affirms: “I do not look at where the strength is but where the justice is”   And concludes: “Cuba only belongs to Cuba.”

Havana, July 10, 2023

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