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Thursday, 2 November 2017
Cuban actor Rolando Nunez:The saddest thing is the cultural blockade
Rolando Nunez, Cuban actor
When we talk about the blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States, the economic and material nature of the effects are more evident, but the impact felt in the cultural sphere more generally is immeasurable.
On the eve of the vote in the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), of the Cuban resolution against the blockade on 1 November, Cuban media outlet Cubarte spoke to actor Rolando Núñez, president of the Association of Performing Artists of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).
"There is no secret about the effects of the blockade for more than half a century, but I think that regardless of the material effects it causes in all artistic manifestations, and in the Performing Arts the shortcomings from a lamp, even a camera, sounds, make-up and so on, what harms us the most is the cultural blockade, the blocking of thought which they are trying to condition us to and condition other creators of other countries.
In UNEAC we have received artists and intellectuals [from the US and other countries] who come with a totally skewed perspective of our cultural reality and when they arrive here they are amazed at the development of Cuban culture, because a kind of cultural blockade has been created that tries to deny our advances and create a distorted vision.
I can give you a beautiful example of something that happened to us a few months ago at UNEAC whose presidency decided to confer the status of Honorary Member to the actor, director, musician, singer and screenwriter of Mexican cinema Alfonso Arau, founder in 1962 of the Musical Theatre of Havana.
Arau is someone very close to our country; Arau loves Cuba and was surprised by our current situation, our artistic and intellectual achievements, he even wept in the Sala Martínez Villena when he realised it was just not known about because it is not what is disseminated.
We could give many other examples, but, I can tell you that at this moment I am a victim directly of the blockade myself.
As president of the Association of Performing Artists, I belong to the International Federation of Actors (FIA), which is divided geographically and we have regular meetings to analyze the problems of actors and theatricians in each region.
Recently, the United States Actors Union requested the collaboration of FIA Latin America to have an exchange with the Hispanic actors who live in the United States and work in US companies where they are not treated as well as the native actors.
So, a meeting has been organized that will be held in Miami from December 3; In my case, I do not know if I can participate because of all the limitations that currently exist on granting visas to Cubans to travel to the United States. "
And as for your own professional development, what are your experiences?
"There are many ... but I will tell you about the most current.
I just finished a movie, 'El señor del traje gris'('The gentleman in the grey suit'), and we have put a lot of work into it and we are still trying to work with foreign producers who are supporting us to get it completed.
In general, on this issue, the most important thing is that there is a great interest and a great intention on the part of artists, both American and from other nations, to work with us, that is why I say that the saddest thing is the cultural blockade to which they want to subject us."