HAVANA TIMES — Cuban artist Tania Bruguera was released today after being accused of “resistance and inciting public disorder” by organizing a controversial artistic protest. With her passport taken away, she may now face a trial and possible sentencing, reports dpa. Bruguera is a resident in the United States.
Bruguera was first arrested Tuesday at her family home to prevent her from attending the her scheduled performance, an “open micropone forum” where citizens could pronounce their views in Revolution Square in Havana.
After being released the following day, Bruguera convened the foreign media to a press conference for Wednesday afternoon at the site of a historic monument but she was once again unable to attend as she was taken back to the police station.
There she was informed that she may face prosecution. Bruguera, who resides in the United States, said the Cuban authorities took away her passport, meaning she would have to remain on the island for the next 60 days.
Also released were other dissidents arrested when they tried to attend Bruguear’s performance. These included opposition journalist Reinaldo Escobar and Eliezer Ávila, who heads the Somos Mas Movement “We are More” movement. Famed blogger Yoani Sánchez, Escobar’s wife, suffered house arrest on Tuesday which was lifted on Wednesday.
The US State Department issued in a statement expressing its concern about the “detentions by Cuban authorities of peaceful members of civil society and activists.”
“We support the activists exercising their right to freedom of expression and denounce the arrests today in Cuba” wrote Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs on her Twitter account.
On the day before the scheduled event, the pro-government Association of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) condemned Bruguera’s initiative, describing it as an “opportunistic action” and publicity stunt.
The Revolution Square is one of the most emblematic places of Havana and around it are the headquarters of the Council of Ministers, the Armed Forces, the Central Committee of the Communist Party and many other important government office buildings. Furthermore, it is the leading space used by the government and Party to hold rallies in its support.