Tags: cuba | censorship | artists | performers

Cuba Readies More Censorship Efforts on Performers and Artists

carnival dancer in havana, cuba
A dancer takes part in the Havana Carnival, on Aug. 21, 2018. (Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 December 2018 09:07 AM

Cuba is stepping up its efforts to censor artists and performers on the island nation, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

New regulations, called Decree 349, were set to further crack down on artistic expression in December, but were put on hold after sparking a backlash from artists. But now few expect any changes to the decree, which had been signed into law by President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

“The decree aims for absolute control, you can’t exhibit your work anywhere without prior authorization,” said Italo Expósito, who was recently banned from selling his paintings and sculptures from his home in Havana. He also had his artist’s license revoked.

And in recent weeks, Cuban officials have:

  • Banned performers who address subjects like racial discrimination from performing in concert.
  • Detained artists who have protested Decree 349.
  • Targeted visual artists and hip-hop musicians.

According to the Journal, the new law bans the exhibition and sale of artwork not authorized by the state. Music shows will also need authorization from the government. All performing artists will need a government license.

Ernesto Hernández Busto, a Cuban writer who is exiled in Spain, said censorship will continue no matter what the eventual outcome is on the decree.

“The purpose of the decree is to regulate a new world: private businesses, art galleries, people working from their homes,” he maintained.

And Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco is quoted in The Guardian as saying: “The decree criminalizes independent art activity.  It allows a cadre of roving censors to go around issuing fines, to take away your equipment.”

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Cuba is stepping up its efforts to censor artists and performers on the island nation, and the new regulations were set to further crack down on artistic expression.
cuba, censorship, artists, performers
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2018-07-26
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 09:07 AM
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