Cuban Culture Figure Analyzes Ties with USA

In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, the current president of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) stressed that those ties should be designed with equality, mutual respect, and balance.

The also member of the Cuban Council of State declared himself very pleased with the new stage in the bilateral relations, but stressed that to speak of normalization, "the horrendous and criminal blockade" should disappear.

This has caused the country so much pain, loss and psychological traumas, family division, human and material damages, so its end is imperative, he said.

About the rapprochement in the cultural field, Barnet recalled that Cuba has always made important contributions as in case of music in late 19th century and especially in the 20th century that enriched jazz.

We had Mario Bauza, Machito (Francisco Raul Gutierrez), Chano Pozo and many others; while he received piano influences from Cole Porter, the Broadway musicals, the New Orleans jazz (…), he argued.

In the field of literature, in which he is an authority with relevant awards, such as the 2006 Juan Rulfo Prize and the 2007 Jose Donoso Latin American Prize for Letters, he mentioned indispensable references coming from the United States.

Knowing the works by John Steinbeck, Faulkner, Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, is always a gift; we are just 90 miles away and although there has not been a direct physical exchange, those influences are received by osmosis, he reflected.

After profoundly analyzing another question from Prensa Latina, Barnet, a legislator to the Cuban National Assembly, talked about the impact on the Caribbean island of the American visual arts.

The author of novels "Biografía de un Cimarron" (Biography of a Fugitive Slave) and "Gallego" (Galician Man), said that in the future of ties between Havana and Washington, the Caribbean island cannot let that stupidity, and commercial banality, invade the society.

Barnet complied with a visit to Chile invited to be part of the jury of the "Manuel Rojas" Ibero-American Award for Fiction, granted in its third edition to Mexican writer, Margo Glantz.

Finally he stated that a promising path between Cuba and Chile discerns on the cultural level, which in addition to classics, should be known more, as occurred during his stays in Talca, Linares, and Valparaiso.

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