In Defense of Cuban Artist Tania Bruguera and Against Violence

Por Jorge Dalton  (Café Fuerte)

Tania Bruguera shows the marks of the violence she was the victim of last Sunday during a peaceful protest in Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — Before all else, I want to state that I am opposed to any kind of violence, particularly if it is directed at a woman, a poet and an artist as admirable as Tania Bruguera.

Though I do not share the ideas of most dissident groups in Cuba, this does not mean I approve of the mistreatment and abuse of these groups, perpetrated in broad daylight through savage and shameful “public reprisals.” This is a terrible practice that has become deeply rooted in Cuba and it must come to an end once and for all, for the good of our children and the future of the nation.

I have openly opposed this practice since the first day, and this, of course, has got me into serious problems. As an artist, as a human being, as a revolutionary inspired by Marti’s ideas, I cannot tolerate seeing a woman dragged, beaten and ostracized by others, no matter what she believes. Like the renowned Cuban artist Tomas Sanchez, I call on Tania to return to her work, to return to her duties, to her political art and teaching, without letting anyone take advantage of her career and international prestige – that she continue her work as a courageous and independent artist, with no ties to any political groups.

I demand that her identity documents be returned to her and that she be allowed to leave and enter her country, without being treated like a criminal and “terrorist.” I continue to be a revolutionary and will be one until my last days, but far be it for me to support these so-called “public reprisals” as “heroic and revolutionary actions.” Those who beat, insult and drag women and men across the ground in an effort to crush dissent are sick individuals who only demonstrate they are willing to attack any human being, young, old or female. They are part of a brutal machinery that must be destroyed now!

This can no longer be tolerated, and I do not believe it is dignified to continue to remain quiet about such atrocities, to continue in our complicity with these beatings. Like Tomas Sanchez also rightly says: “many of us don’t care.”

Seeing so much intolerance between Cubans on the island and abroad being torn apart like this pains me deeply, day after day, night after night. What hurts me most of all is seeing a woman and an artist – or any woman – be pummeled like that. If I can tolerate this, then I can easily applaud while seeing my mother, my wife, my sister, my daughter, my grandmother or my nieces be dragged out of the house in front of me, and even join the lynch mob.

My personal values, the ones I was taught at home in Cuba, my formation as a revolutionary, the education my parents gave me, my teachers, friends, neighbors, musicians, filmmakers, painters, dancers, actors, poets, compatriots, the Cuban revolution, a process I’ve always defended, do not allow me to tolerate such things.

9 thoughts on “In Defense of Cuban Artist Tania Bruguera and Against Violence

  • June 12, 2015 at 5:49 am

    The World Court report concludes “it has not proved possible to reach a definitive conclusion with regard to the concerns raised by the Government of Cuba,” and did not recommend any follow-on actions. 

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