Cuban artists under pressure

Image of artwork by Cuban artist Kcho in Cuban National art museum MNBA

An editorial from Cuban press on the island on 26 July 2021

Time after time the spokespersons of the hatred industry have accused the Cuban government of manipulating art by promoting servile speech, nonchalant, opportunistic and laudatory among Cuban artists, so they are a kind of useful propagandists of the Cuban Revolution. They have even undervalued the art produced in Cuba, as if backed by institutional order, stating that it is not a free art, but an art controlled by the elites in power.

There is no need to stand up for the extraordinary heritage of Cuba’s art production. It is a very rich heritage, renowned worldwide, committed to the future of the nation. Right now, it stands as critical awareness of the social and political project of the nation. It is revolutionary art in the full sense of the concept. Its best art expressions have not been attached to the caprices of the market, of a repressive business-minded approach. And they are not, all in all, the instrument of any political power.

The Cuban artists who have expressed loudly their support to the Revolution and have given signs of that support in their art, have done it consciously, exercising their right. No authorities may force artists to do anything in Cuba. Nor are they expected to adhere to any political affiliation.

Right now, in this crucial time for the nation, a lot of artists living in Cuba have closed ranks in defense of the Revolution. Others — equally important — have voiced legitimate concerns about the course of events. And there is another group with clear intentions or not, who have ended up supporting a truly interventionist agenda.

None of them can ever say that Cuba’s Ministry of Culture or other governmental agencies has put pressure on them to take sides with the Revolution. Nor retaliations have been taken with those who decided to remain silent or even, voice out dissimilar and discordant opinions.

Others are the ones putting pressure on them. Others are the ones demanding condemnation. Others are the ones punishing with smear campaigns against those artists not supporting their extremist views on the situation in Cuba.

They have hounded and accused artists who have advocated for peace or just rejected the idea of a military intervention in Cuba.

In both foreign and mercenary media, we have witnessed gross attacks on important Cuban artists and writers as they chose to defend our dreamed society. No matter how much they have contributed to our culture. No matter their coherence, or their arguments in any debate…They have been bullied in the media. If they do not go against the government publicly, they do not deserve any credit. If they denounce the effects of the commercial and economic U.S. blockade on Cuba, they are just puppets of the regime. And if they dare to address the aggressive stance from abroad in social networks, they are enemies of freedom and hence they oppress the people.

These tactics are so simplistic. The idea is to strengthen a matrix of opinion supporting the idea of a visible divorce between the best of the Cuban art movement and the Cuban Revolution. Detaching Revolution from art and artists promoted and supported by this very same Revolution. Some artists, inside and outside Cuba, have backed these claims. Others have succumbed to pressures. But a lot of Cuban artists and writers have shown resilience. They have defended their ideals. They have bet on peace. They have given Cuba top priority.

Link to the editorial at