CUBA BRIEF: Raul Castro unable to explain Chavismo. The truth about Cuba to be heard in New York, San Francisco, Portugal, Belgium and Germany

Diario de Cuba, April 11, 2017

Venezuela: Castroism unable to explain the censure of ‘chavismo’

By Orlando Freire Santana | La Habana

There is no doubt that Cuban rulers are concerned about the progressive isolation of Nicolás Maduro’s chavista (inspired by the legacy of the late Hugo Chávez) government. The official newspaper Juventud Rebelde, in its edition last Thursday, published an article from its correspondent to Caracas entitled “Lucidity takes the form of multitudes”, in which the journalist posed the following question: what has Venezuela done to deserve this war to the death of which it is now the target?

First, it should be clarified that this “war to the death” is not against Venezuela, but against Maduro’s regime. In addition to imprisoning his political opponents and not accepting the electoral calendar that most Venezuelans are clamoring for, Mr. Maduro has struck against one of the cornerstones of the rule of law: the division of powers.

The chavista authorities, by discrediting and all but annulling the legislative work of the National Assembly, controlled by the opposition, have given a coup de grace to the balance of powers, which must exist in any society calling itself democratic. Of course, this behavior has stirred up animosity in many of the nations making up the Organization of American States (OAS).  [More]


The Washington Post, April 10, 2017

Venezuela protesters target Maduro, vow to keep up pressure

By Fabiola Sanchez | AP April 10 at 8:42 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela — Thousands of protesters demanding new elections faced off with security forces who launched tear gas and stood shoulder-to-shoulder blocking roadways in the Venezuelan capital Monday.

Demonstrators covered their faces to protect against the plumes of tear gas that wafted through the streets of Caracas. A few threw rocks as they tried to make their way downtown waving Venezuelan flags and carrying signs decrying President Nicolas Maduro.

“We need to get out on the street and fight, to tell these people we don’t want them,” said Maria Guedez, a 67-year-old homemaker carrying a sign that read, “No more dictatorship.” [More]



In 2015 a Cuban regime agent attacked Sirley Avila Leon with a machete. She had been an elected local official in Eastern Cuba who objected to the closing of an elementary school in her district. The regime claimed that she was crazy, wanted to send her to a mental institution. She kept speaking out and as a result she was seriously wounded and lost her left hand in the machete attack. She is now in the United States and her face and message can be seen on Times Square. “”I don’t know a lot about politics but the totalitarian dictatorship of the Castros is one of the world’s most corrupt and criminal.” The billboard is sponsored by the prestigious Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

From Times Square in New York to San Francisco, California and Oporto, Portugal the truth about Cuba is being heard. The Guardian reports on the forthcoming opening of Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” which Tania Bruguera is directing. She attempted a pro-freedom performance in Revolutionary Square in Havana last year and spent time in prison. After Oporto she will go on to reach out to audiences in Brussels, Nanterre and Hamburg.

Raul Castro will not be happy to learn about her European tour. Especially since she has announced that she intends to run for the presidency of Cuba when General Castro retires. Her announcement has awakened a lot of interest among many people and a lot of speculation since General Castro says he intends to remain the Secretary General of the Cuban Communist Party, and the general’s son Alejandro Castro Espin, a Lieutenant Colonel in Cuba’s political police is expected to have a lot to do with the future of the Castro dynasty on the island.

Thus Sirley Avila Leon’s message tells the truth about Cuba in New York, Tania Bruguera does the same in Europe and according to the Los Angeles Times, Cuban painter and graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado opens up an exhibition on May 11, 2017 in San Francisco. Maldonado known as “El Sexto” spent time in Cuban prisons for labeling two piglets Fidel and Raul.


The Guardian, April 11, 2017

Master and servant: how Tania Bruguera is using Beckett to dismantle power [in Cuba]

ByRob Sharp

Artist Tania Bruguera knows about power struggles: she’s been jailed and says she’ll run for the Cuban presidency. So the co-dependency in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame makes it the perfect play for her directorial debut.

Later this month, visitors to a 17th-century monastery in Porto, Portugal will venture through a forest of scaffolding, climb stairs to take their seats and place their heads through holes in a giant piece of fabric. Below this circle of disembodied faces, an actor will stare out from the stage, pause and laugh.

This elaborate performance of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame is the directorial debut of Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera, who has had plenty of seismic geopolitical changes to occupy her of late. Her 2008 work Tatlin’s Whisper #5, a live microphone inviting the public to participate in one minute of free speech, led to her detention by the Cuban authorities in December 2014. Last April, she raised over $100,000 (£80,500) via crowdfunding for Cuba’s first Institute of Art Activism. [More]


The Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2017

Q&A Danilo Maldonado Machado, the dissident artist called ‘El Sexto,’ on art and liberty in Cuba

By Carolina A. Miranda

At the tail end of 2014, Danilo Maldonado Machado, the graffiti artist known as “El Sexto,” was detained by the authorities as he made his way to a public park in Havana to stage a work of protest art. In his vehicle, he was carrying a pair of pigs that he had painted with the names of the Castro brothers — one “Raul,” the other “Fidel.” His plan was to release them and let members of the public catch them and take them home.

But the piece, titled “Rebelión en la granja” (after George Orwell’s “Animal Farm) never happened. Instead, Maldonado spent 10 months in jail. His case drew international headlines. As did a subsequent detention in which he publicly celebrated the death of Fidel Castro on a Havana street.
Maldonado now finds himself in the United States where he is promoting human rights in Cuba in collaboration with the Human Rights Foundation, which helped fund his U.S. trip. (The Visual Artists Guild and various private donors funded the L.A. portion of his travels.) He is also at work on a pop-up exhibition that lands in San Francisco in mid-May. “It will feature a variety of things, like a reconstruction of the cell I was in in Cuba,” he says. “There will be drawings and paintings.” [More]