Tania Bruguera Mocks Cuban Government Censorship

During her participation in the virtual Geneva Summit for Human Rights

“Cuba,” a country where nothing works except its political police,” says Bruguera. (Rialta)

By Luz Escobar (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – On Tuesday, the artist Tania Bruguera managed to participate in the virtual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, after the Cuban government prevented her doing so the day before by cutting off her mobile data service.

During her speech, Bruguera enumerated several recent abuses committed by the “military dictatorship,” including the impunity of the police authorities for the human rights violations for which they have been responsible, including murder.

The artist described the country where she lives as “an island-prison” and denounced: “It is in Cuba where laws are created to keep the rulers protected and in power and not for the people to live in a safer way. Cuba, a country where nothing works except its political police.”

Bruguera has also been the victim of arbitrary detentions, surveillance and lengthy interrogations, actions organized by State Security. In recent months, she has also had to spend days, sometimes weeks, with a police cordon around her home that prevents her from going out.

“Imagine turning on the television and seeing on the National Newscast your private telephone number with your name next to it and your home address with personal data, while a presenter emphasizes that, in effect, that is your number and that is the place where people can find you,” the artist said about the attacks in the official media, as a result of which, she says, hateful messages from people she does not know reach her phone.

The Summit was organized by a coalition of 25 human rights groups, bringing together dissidents and former political figures from around the world. In statements to 14ymedio, the artist said that her participation in this event was important: “It seemed good to me that the experience of the activists in Cuba could be there and could be told.”

Bruguera managed to bypass the censorship of Cuba’s telecommunications monopoly, Etecsa, by sending her speech in an audio message, and she did in both Spanish and English. In it, she noted that this is a country where “independent journalists are persecuted, where citizens’ access to independent media through the internet is blocked, where citizen journalism is penalized to such a degree that if a person publishes a statement on Facebook that is critical of the government, they will be sought out and fined more than their monthly salary.”

In addition, she gave an account of the political prisoners in Cuban prisons who are arbitrarily detained in many cases and publicly defamed by the Government. In these cases, she explained, all are without real legal protection “because their designated lawyer works under direct orders from the Government.”

Bruguera said that “people you know are afraid to let you use the telephone line registered in their name because they know that electronic surveillance is one of the priorities of the Cuban government.” At the same time, she spoke hopefully, because today, she said, Cubans’ complaints “are beginning to be transformed into civic actions.”

She was emphatic: “Today too, while sending this recording, I think about my fellow activists in prison, about the possible consequences of participating in this type of event, about the vulnerability that we feel every day, but there is something that gives me strength because I know it is a collective cry: Homeland and Life.”

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


11 thoughts on “Tania Bruguera Mocks Cuban Government Censorship

  • June 10, 2021 at 5:29 am
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    I agree that the US embargo is not right, but its there, and Congress, especially the Republican side, have no intentions of lifting it. (It would take 60 votes in the Senate. However Cubans wanting to improve their country and have some basic human rights is a different matter. I believe they have that right, just like citizens of any country should. I also don’t believe that US citizens who oppose the dominant US foreign and /or domestic policies should be harassed continuously by the FBI or be forced to choose exile or jail.

  • June 10, 2021 at 1:39 am
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    Whatever atrocities that that the Cuban government commits against its people, it does not justify the embargo and cruel Draconian sanctions that the US has instilled in Cuba. The sanctions hurt the Cuban people just as much as repression by the Cuban government.

  • June 10, 2021 at 1:35 am
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    Circles, I know Tania is Cuban but she spent a few years in Miami.

  • June 9, 2021 at 8:41 pm
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    Nick. Trump is not in office anymore. And mostly Cubans American that support Trump is because his hard position against the Cuban dictatorship. Look at Obama he gave a lot to the Cuban regime, visited trying to be open and the next day when he left the state police was arresting the opposition. And yes I mentioned you because you agreed with the delusional lies that Elio write but in case like this. You don’t know or don’t want to opine. Yes I mentioned once again because you live in the free world with privileges that for some reason you think Cubans don’t deserve them. When you vote next time for a candidate think how Cubans can’t not vote for anyone but a puppet from the Castro family. There are a lot vergüenzas in both sides of the poli al spectrum.

  • June 9, 2021 at 3:25 pm
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    Olga,
    I see that you choose to mention me again. It’s very kind of you to think of me so often.
    Let me tell you that I don’t defend or justify dictatorships as is your unfounded accusation.

    It is curious that so many U.S.-resident Cubans pretend to be in favour of democracy and against dictatorships but slavishly kiss the butt cheeks of someone such as the little-orange-faced-trump-the-loser-man-child. This is an individual who has, without any doubt, proven to be 100% anti democracy.
    What I see as is a blatant and disgraceful example of double standards coming out of some US-Cubans.
    It’s just such a sad and worrying spectacle to behold.
    Are there any depths to which a certain percentage of sin-verguenza Cuban-Americans would not sink?
    Is there anyone too much of a liar, too extreme, too twisted or too right wing for them? The whole thing has just gone a bit too far hasn’t it?
    Wouldn’t you agree Olga?

    For your information – I have to confess to having no opinion either way on Tania – the subject of the article. I’m neither in favour nor against. You wanna know why?
    Coz I know absolutely nothing about her.

    If she’s a trump supporter too?
    If she’s not then I might get on with her!!

  • June 9, 2021 at 2:33 pm
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    Wrong Curt. Bruguera is Cuban and wants to be in her country. I know a lot of people, you might be one, who have little good to say about the USA but have no problem living there. Most people would like to be able to live in their country, near their families and friends, and be active, responsible citizens without suffering State repression or other violence. Sometimes that is hard to do.

  • June 9, 2021 at 1:39 pm
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    If Cuba is such a repressive place, why did Bruguera move there from the US. Is it because she is getting paid very well from USAID to live there and stir up trouble? Makes you wonder.

  • June 9, 2021 at 10:58 am
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    Curious what the Dans and Nicks of this world that comment in this pages always defending or justifying the dictatorship would say about this government Blocking the rights of this artist and intellectuals to participate and a simple forum about humans rights violations. Perhaps they would say Tania could not have aboard the plane to Geneva because the country’s lack of Oil due to the inhuman imperialistic embargo against the Cuban “people”.

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