The British scriptwriter Paul Laverty, who won the screenplay award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, in Spain, for the film Yuli, inspired in the life of Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, described the blockade as “a disgrace that must end.”
Upon accepting the prize, Laverty, who has written scripts for outstanding directors like Ken Loach, stated, “Some 58 years ago, the U.S. imposed a blockade on Cuba, a blockade that is illegal, that is condemned every year in the United Nations, and is only supported by two votes, those of the U.S. and Israel. Two experts in applying collective punishment on civil populations. Two bullies, shameless hypocrites. We must do away with this disgrace; the blockade of Cuba must end.”
Laverty joins the long list of artists and intellectuals who have spoken out against the blockade, such as filmmakers and actors Oliver Stone, Benicio del Toro, and Robert de Niro, as well as musicians like Manu Chao, Tom Morello, Chris Martin, and Chris Cornell, among many others.
According to official figures, since its inception the blockade has caused losses valued at more than $933,678,000,000, and in the cultural sphere the hostile policy has hampered interaction between artists in the two countries, and created obstacles to the acquisition of musical instruments, instructional software, and studio equipment, among other damages.
Laverty’s comments were featured in the press covering the festival, where Yuli was acclaimed, with members of the cast on hand, led by Carlos Acosta himself and actress Laura de la Uz. Also playing important roles in the film were professor and choreographer Santiago Alfonso, Andrea Doimeadiós, and producer Claudia Calviño.
Acosta (La Habana, 1973), one of the greatest dancers in the history of Cuban ballet, commented that the film, described as “dazzling” at the festival, based on his autobiography No Way Home, can serve as an example of perseverance for Cubans.
“It is the triumph of a humble Cuban family and can serve as a mirror for all Cubans who on a daily basis confront adversities,” he said.