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On November 27, in front of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba (Mincult), young people, artists, and intellectuals with diverse claims gathered.
Out of respect for the concerns and demands of the young people linked to the various fields of artistic expression, who arrived there by joining networks of groups with other interests, the doors of the Ministry were opened for an exchange with Deputy Minister Fernando Rojas and representatives of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (Uneac) and the Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS).
After more than four hours of dialogue, it was agreed to hold a new meeting, chaired by the Minister of Culture, for which lists of topics and participants had been previously agreed to.
This December 3rd, at 1:39 pm, an insolent e-mail arrived at the Cuban Ministry of Culture, where the group that now claims to be the voice of all, intends to impose, in a unilateral manner, who, with whom and for what will be acceptable in order to dialogue.
By attempting to include among the participants people who have long been self-excluded because of their aggressions against patriotic symbols, common crimes and frontal attacks against the leadership of the Cuban Revolution, under the guise of art, those who implemented this maneuver have broken all possibility of dialogue.
The Minister of Culture stated he will not meet with people who have direct contact and receive funding, logistical support and propagandistic backing from the United States Government and its officials. Neither will he meet with the unaccredited press or media financed by US federal agencies.
The Culture Ministry has rejected the basis—contained in the aforementioned email, which can be consulted in the Mincult digital sites—on which the conditions of this group, lacking legitimacy and ethics to summon the institutions of Cuban culture, have been articulated.
For young people and for all those artists who met in front of Mincult on November 27, who have not compromised their work with the enemies of the Cuban nation, the opportunities for dialogue remain open, as has been the historical practice of the cultural institutions of the Revolution, the Culture Ministry affirmed.
Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, has reiterated that Cuba's is not a government in hiding. It is a Revolution in power, which has among its most formidable forces culture—a sovereign, independent and anti-imperialist culture from the root.
The Cuban Ministry of Culture has affirmed that with the mercenaries, it will not negotiate.
Below is the text, translated in full, which was sent to the Ministry of Culture and prompted the rupture of the dialogues.
Statement from Cuba's Culture Ministry: 'Those who asked for dialogue break the dialogue'
Talks with Washington's mercenaries will not go forward because said actors have no principles to defend and instead seek chaos and a media war rather than actual dialogue or understanding. https://t.co/mKVPz4mjW3
1. Given the harassment, bullying and criminalization of participants in the 27N and the MSI we ask for guarantees of safety and protection for all of us who go to the meeting and for those who want to be outside.
2. Given that the list of representatives sent to MINCULT contains the names of people democratically elected by the NP27 protesters, the participation of these representatives in the meeting cannot be negotiated.
3. Since we are going to discuss legal issues, we will be accompanied by jurist Julio A. Fernández Estrada as legal advisor in this meeting.
4. Given that the issues on the agenda go beyond the powers of the Minister of Culture and given that, in previous moments in our history when there has been a crisis in the field of culture, it has always been the highest authority in the country who has sat down to dialogue, we ask President Miguel Díaz-Canel for his presence at this meeting, as well as a representative of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice.
5. Given that those who are inside the meeting are bound to and represent hundreds of people who will not be present; given that in the previous experience agreements were violated, and that the official media only reported what happened in the meeting through the NTV in the version of Deputy Minister Fernando Rojas, without the possibility of a reply in that media, we require the presence of independent press to record and cover the meeting. Likewise, we ask that the official media required by MINCULT be present.
6. We ask that at the end of the meeting a joint public statement be made (a representative of MINCULT and a representative of N27) setting out all the agreements reached between the two parties.
7. We do not consider it pertinent to present ourselves at the meeting until these assurances have been given publicly.