Cuban Artist Expelled from Provincial Parliament
Within the last several hours, the national award-winning visual artist and cultural promoter from the province of Pinar del Rio, Pedro Pablo Oliva, has circulated a letter among the alternative media in Cuba informing of his expulsion as a delegate from the Provincial Assembly of Popular Power (a Cuban regional legislative body). This occurs despite the institution being characterized by the country’s top leaders as “the most democratic in the world.”
The painter alleges that he was expelled from the government institution based on an accusation made against him by another member of Popular Power in the province.
At the time of the expulsion, according to the painter, he was presented before the rest of the members of the Pinar del Rio legislature as a “dissident, counter-revolutionary annexationist.”
Among the explicit arguments that led to his removal from office was an interview granted by Oliva to Edmundo Garcia, the host and director of “La noche se mueve” Miami radio program and a letter that he sent to blogger Yoani Sanchez. In that letter the painter requested that it be published in her blog Generation Y following a repudiation rally directed against his wife while she was performing in the city of Pinar del Rio this past December 10, International Human Rights Day.
In the letter, the painter writes: “I am accused, among other things, of having made public my thoughts in the terrain of dissidence.” He goes on to clarify: “I do not fear any setting. In addition, I am convinced that no official (Cuban) press agency — not the newspapers, the radio, television or any website — would have published my words, even when I assume my full responsibility. In any event, participating with ideas in other settings of debate doesn’t in any way imply similar thinking. I am also being questioned for maintaining relations of friendship with certain ‘counter-revolutionary elements.’ I choose my own friends,” fired back Oliva.
The painter interpreted what happened as the one-way-only of thinking established on the island “a long time ago and that today is acquiring a new spirit.”
In the letter Oliva circulated only hours ago, he stated that he has “no intention” of leaving Cuba and highlighted that: “Fidelity to one’s country is not fidelity to a party. A party is a social construct, while the homeland retains itself in the thoughts and hearts of all.”
Oliva concluded his communiqué with the promise that, “Tomorrow I will again take up my paintbrushes.”
3 thoughts on “Cuban Artist Expelled from Provincial Parliament”
The policies are clear. “Los hombres mueren, pero el partido (PCC) es inmortal!” (Men can die, but the party is immortal!). The number one goal of the government, of any government is to maintain and preserve power at all cost, and Pedro Pablo Oliva appears to be the latest casualty. This should not be a surprise. It is politics at its best!
Thank you to Havantimes for bringing this our attention. I have often been in conversation with members of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign who have tried to impress on me that Cuba is a democratic country where the population keeps endorsing those who have power to make decisions affecting their lives.
On at least one occasion it was in the presence of the former Cuban Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the then chair of the UK’s Parliamentary group on Cuba, who was later found out to have stolen from the British people by fiddling his expenses. I hope one day not too soon the people of Cuba’s Western province will have a genuine chance to decide who is going to represent them. After all, did Fidel Castro not promise to hold the free elections that the 1952 Batista coup had denied the people of Cuba?.
Again and Again the story is repeated. The story of exclusions. Of a Paternalistic state choosing friends for individuals. Of a mafia dictating their will. Those that do not follow the script are excommunicated. How much intolerance. How little freedom. It is beyond comprehension how any freedom loving person could support this regime. There is no excuse that can justify this behavior.
Pedro Pablo Oliva is as Cuban as the Cuban Royal Palm those who now point fingered at him are the non patriotic.
“Fidelity to one’s country is not fidelity to a party. A party is a social construct, while the homeland retains itself in the thoughts and hearts of all.”
This is exactly one of the many wrong things with the regime.
Cuba is not a revolution.
Cuba is not a political party.
Cuba is in every Cuban all without any exclusion.
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