Magazines Held in Cuban Customs

Desiderio Navarro, photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Feb 3 — Copies of the magazine Criterios have been held at the Havana airport by authorities since January 29, reported its editor, Cuban essayist Desiderio Navarro.

Navarro said the refusal by officials of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) to sign the release request required by Customs has led to the charging of late-pick-up fines and has prevented the magazine from entering the country.

Even in the absence of printed copies of the publication, the “Criterios Theoretical and Cultural Center” will go ahead with a presentation of that latest edition at its headquarters on February 28, where they will also celebrate 40 years of the magazine with a workshop titled “The Meaning of the Public Sphere in Cuba.”

According to Navarro, this most recent edition is “one of the best in my career” because of the inclusion of major names and topics of current global thought.

Desidero Navarro, who is also a translator, was a leading voice a few years ago in the discussions around Cuban cultural policy during the “quinquenio gris” (the “five gray years,” a period of particularly harsh censorship of the arts and media in Cuba). Through that debate, broad sectors of advocates of critical thought and culture on the island were brought together.