Cuban Labor Board Declares My Appeal “Unfounded”

Yanelys Nunez Leyva

The labor board hearing. “I’m very pained because we were like a family.” “What you do is not art”. Illustration by Carlos
The labor board hearing. “I’m very pained because we were like a family.” “What you do is not art”. Illustration by Carlos

HAVANA TIMES — Based on the “inappropriate use of technology and internet access for personal purposes”[1] the ruling that confirms the disciplinary measure (firing) that my workplace imposed on me just over a month ago, was given to me on August 15th 2016, giving me ten working days for me to make my second appeal, this time with a new addressee, the Municipal Court.

Even though I was almost sure that the Labor Board would rule against me – a certainty based on the good vibes I got from the Oral hearing – I wasn’t sure I wanted to drag out the appeals process, as I believed that they might create a specific law as if by magic just to dismiss any of my arguments. However, on the other hand, they kept on referring to the same drool and that insulted me to such an extent that I’ve decided to continue fighting even though I will most surely lose.

How can it be possible that they can fire me from my job for looking at the website of a Cuban artist, with or without an emotional tie, be that a friend, partner, parent or tutor[2]; and more so when his personal exhibition was scheduled to take place in the second semester of this year at the Espacio Abierto Gallery which belongs to the magazine where I worked?

Furthermore, how can it not be relevant to my work as a promoter of culture to have the freedom to access websites such as Havana Times or Cubanet, websites with a different profile to that of government websites, but where you can find articles relating to Cuban art in the same way you can find them on their official equivalent?

And if I’m repeating the same arguments that I’ve voiced in past posts relating to this subject it’s because they, the civil servants with faultless behavior, still haven’t responded to them or tried to understand them.

I think that allowing an employee affiliated with the Ministry of Culture to be involved in a project such as the Cuban Museum of Dissent, would give a new image to the Institution responsible for “directing, guiding, controlling and operating within the field of Culture, applying the Cuban State’s and Government’s cultural policy.[3] However, by clinging onto out-dated and fanciful management strategies, the only thing they’re achieving is to keep the face of censorship in its place which has been in effect for a long time now.

This whole subject is disgraceful to me. How can people with so little perspective and lucidity lead us? How can supposed intellectuals in this country – and I’m referring to the managers of my magazine, not the Ministry of Culture’s employees – lend themselves to such infamy? It’ll weigh heavy on their consciences. Meanwhile, I’ll try and keep on being a free and happy person.

[1] Taken from the Labor Justice Body Agreement  N. 4/16.

[2] An argument which is dealt with in the agreement. Idem.

[3] Taken from the Labor Justice Body Agreement  N. 4/16.

2 thoughts on “Cuban Labor Board Declares My Appeal “Unfounded”

  • wow….I don’t even know what to say. Everyone, for fear of stepping over some invisible line, walks around on eggshells. Everything is illegal, or banned. So, Havana Times is not “banned” in Cuba, but fear of loosing your job, and barriers set up to viewing such sites, or any other “arbitrary” site, create such a chilling effect that the result is the same.

  • Shameful.

Comments are closed.