Cuban Artist Freed but Grounded

“I am also demanding,” the facebook platform used by Tania Bruguera.

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.

27 thoughts on “Cuban Artist Freed but Grounded

  • Your falling for the alibi that Gross was doing harmless humanitarian work to help unconnected Cuban jews has proven totally false. Getting a 1/2 million dollar contract for doing illegal work in a foreign country is anything but. He’s lucky to be home with his 3.2 million dollar bonus and he is still seaking more. I’m glad he’s home as well as the other US spy and the three Cuban agents. They all served plenty of time. In case you didn’t know it when one goes to a foreign country it is their laws one must abide by not those from the country from which one came. Try taking some beer and whiskey to Saudi Arabia and see if the fact it is legal in Canada does you any good.

  • Are you thankful Gross is alive? Or do you think he should still be in the Cuban prison?

    As Moses has pointed out many times, it would have been very bad for Cuba if Gross had died while in a Cuban prison. Raul could forget about the embargo being lifted anytime soon if that had happened.

    I was simply clarifying for rodrigvm his misunderstanding in calling the technology Gross brought in to Cuba, “spy equipment”. It wasn’t for spying. It was for the criminal activity of communicating with the outside world without permission from the Cuban government.

    As an example of what real spy equipment is: the radio which the Cuban spy Ana Montes was given by the Cuban Directorate of Intelligence was actual spy equipment. She used it to listen to a “numbers” radio station broadcasting from Cuba, transmitting coded instructions to Cuban spies is America. That’s espionage.

  • Now you’re closer, putting aside the humanitarian stuff for Cuban Jews,… Accept a contract for a half million dollars to smuggle in illegal equipment into a country your bosses don’t even have diplomatic relations with is what he did. I think you’d be best at this point to just be thankful Gross is alive and well in Maryland and can enjoy the 3.2 million he is to receive from the US government.

  • Thank you for the link, Circles. It supports my point that the equipment Gross brought to Cuba was not for use in spying or espionage, as rodrigvm alleged.

    Yes, what Gross did was illegal under Cuban law. Yes, it was part of a USAID program intended to promote democracy in Cuba, and as such would be seen as a threat to the Castro regime, which is emphatically opposed to democracy in Cuba.

  • The equipment was not for spying, it was for allowing the people at Jewish community centres to connect to the internet without having to go through government censors. For some reason, the Castro regime thinks it’s dangerous to allow the Cuban people to communicate freely with the outside world.

    There was no evidence this equipment was to be used in any espionage or intelligence gathering operation.

  • Mr Patterson please don’t waste your time. Rodrigvm is a robot blind by ideology. His bible is the Granma.

  • This year they have, In the previous decade it was very hard to get a VISA you don’t seem to read the news obviously! Gross was spying bringing equipment bought by USAID (not Santa Claus) for spying…

  • Did you read the US Justice Department report on repression and torture of protesters and Dominicans in Puerto Rico…obviously not!

  • Check your facts. The US has granted a record number of visas this year to Cubans. The US does not monitor US citizens who travel to Cuba on legal visas and by definition, does not monitor Americans who have traveled to Cuba through a third country. Finally, the high tech equipment that Mr. Gross was held hostage for giving away in Cuba is SOLD in the US! Ergo, you won’t go to jail for possessing it, let alone bringing it into the country. I share Griffin’s question, what other kind of enema’s are there other than rectal?

  • Which US dissenters have been tortured by the US government? Michael Brown was shot for attacking a police officer, not for “just walking the streets”.

  • Fidel seized control of the Cuban government, and then nationalized his family farm. In other words, he stole his farm from his family and gave it to himself. Which is what he did with the rest of the island.

  • You are talking nonsense.

    The US authorities would never arrest anybody for bringing satellite internet equipment into the country, which is what Allen Gross did in Cuba. Your suggestion that what happened to Gross in Cuba was the result of the US government monitoring him for visiting Cuba is absurd. The five Cuban spies were arrested, tried, convicted and sent to prison for a range of espionage charges, but not one of them was sent to Gitmo.

    And finally, what other sort of enemas are there than the rectal sort?

  • Again you show your ignorance about the role of US in granting very few visa to Cubans and monitoring those who visit Cuba (look what happened to Allan Gross) for deciding to bring spying equipment to Cuba. In the US he would have been sent to Guantanamo and giver rectal enemas.

  • You begin to see things like the Castros’ allowing folks to visit family at Christmas as something they should be congratulated for. Are you daft? The Castros should not have taken these rights away in the first place!! Letting people visit their families at Christmas or any other day for that matter is only something special to people in prison. See the analogy here?

  • Hahahaha! Of course it was. Fidel traded his family farm for an entire country. You lefties just parrot this crap without ever thinking about what you are saying. Go ahead, tell me how Fidel doesn’t have any money either. Why should he? The National Treasury is his bank account. You guys are nuts!

  • It would have been nice if he had given it to the people, the first agrarian property nationalized was Fidel family farm…

  • La Habana’s hotels are full of Cuban American celebrating Christmas, New Years eve and taking their kids to visit relatives…I am surprised your information about Cuban travel (both on the Cuban and the US side) are so outdated.

  • What opportunities are those? Please provide clarification.

  • It is the Castro Revolution which tore families apart in the first place. My wife’s great-uncle was forced to leave Cuba in 1962 because the “revolution” wanted his shoe-making factory “for the Cuban people”. Well, that factory, just outside Guantanamo is still there…. sort of. It has been vacant since 1964 and is now overrun with weeds and most of the building has collapsed or been carted away. What is pathetic is how you have no idea, nor should you, about whether or not I have ever protested, yet you dare to comment as if you do. The irony is that there are hundreds of thousands of Cubans whose lives were ripped apart by the Castros who are living witnesses to the regime’s tyranny and people like you continue to lie and blame the US for everything that ails Cuba. Please explain how Cuba (and not the US) should be credited for reuniting Cuban families. By the way, my wife’s great uncle came to Miami after being forced to leave Cuba with just the clothes on his back and went on to become a multimillionaire builder and developer in central Florida.

  • I saw Yoani Sanchez with a wad of Euros buying phone cards for her tweets, as far as anyone knows (no one except the old viejas of Damas de Blanco know who she is) what kind of work she performs? Journalist? Naah! USAID employed spy…BTW I can send you the pic…standing in front of me in El Paseo booth..

  • “We are taking to the streets”? Yeah right, the only taking to the streets you do is to celebrate like the dinosaurs do in Miami every time Fidel gets sick….so pathetic! Celebrate with the majority of Cubans who thanks to the revolution (not to the US) have more opportunities to reunite with their families…

  • You are like a robot. Rather than debate the merits of limiting/prohibiting free speech in Cuba, you take the back-handed defensive strategy of a clumsy criticism of the US. Yes, the US made mistakes to extract information in our ‘war on terror’ and self-reported these mistakes. Yes, there is institutional racism in the policing of urban communities but we are taking to the streets to protest this cancer in our free society. What are the Castros doing to amend their ways? On the contrary, they are more resolute than ever to protect their mafia operation. Do you seriously not see the difference? Cuba will never solve their problems if they (or their lackeys) justify their evil by the evil that exists in the US. Never.

  • Back with the “Bad Old USA” and “How much money did she get paid” arguments! Got any new responses? Those are like 50+ years old dear!

  • I wonder how much she was paid for doing this? What was the point? Was she tortured like the US does to dissenters? Was she shot like young men of color just for walking the streets?

  • The Castros seem hell-bent on screwing up Obama’s attempt to restore relations. Like the Mariel boatlift and the shoot-down of the unarmed Brothers to the Rescue Cessna, the Castros self-destructive anti-free speech activities only fuel the pro-democracy argument for maintaining the embargo until real democratic reforms take place in Cuba. Only the most zealous and freakish supporters of the regime dare to defend the detention of activists BEFORE they have actually engaged in their pro-free speech activities. I look forward to the Castro sycophants justification of this PR disaster. I am all ears (well, eyes)……

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