Statement from UNEAC and the AHS: To the intellectuals and artists of the world

WHILE the Book Fair was taking place from one end of our country to the other and hundreds of Cuban doctors were saving lives in Haiti, a new campaign against Cuba was being cooked up. A common criminal with a proven history of violence, who had become a “political prisoner,” announced that he was undertaking a hunger strike for the installation of a telephone, stove and television in his cell. Incited by unscrupulous individuals and despite everything that was done to prolong his life, Orlando Zapata Tamayo died and has now been converted into a regrettable symbol of the anti-Cuba machinery. On March 11, the European Parliament passed a resolution “energetically condemning the avoidable and cruel death of the dissident political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo,” and in an offensive act of intervention in our internal affairs, “urged European institutions to unconditionally support and unreservedly encourage the start of a peaceful process of political transition toward a multi-party democracy in Cuba.”  

A petition titled “Orlando Zapata Tamayo: I accuse the Cuban government,” is currently circulating to collect signatures against Cuba. The petition claims that this inmate was “unjustly imprisoned and brutally tortured,” and that he died “denouncing these crimes and his country’s lack of rights and democracy.” At the same time, it shamelessly lies about our government’s alleged practice of “physically eliminating its critics and peaceful opponents.” On March 15, a Spanish newspaper displayed the face of Zapata Tamayo, when this man had died and was in his coffin, and announced that certain intellectuals had adhered to the petition, adding their signatures to those of old and new professionals in the internal and external counterrevolution.  

We Cuban writers and artists are fully aware of how the corporate media and hegemonic interests link up with international reactionary forces on any pretext whatsoever to damage our image. We are aware of the merciless and ghoulish distortion of our realities and the daily fabrication of lies about Cuba. We also know the price that is paid by those people who have tried to express themselves within culture with their own nuances.  

Never in the history of the Revolution has a prisoner been tortured. Not one single person has disappeared. There has not been one single extrajudicial execution. We have founded our own form of democracy, imperfect, yes, but far more participatory and legitimate than the one they want to impose on us. Those who have orchestrated this campaign do not have the moral authority to teach us lessons in human rights.  

It is essential to halt this latest aggression against a blockaded and pitilessly harassed country. To that end, we appeal to the conscience of all intellectuals and artists who do not harbor spurious interests with respect to the future of a Revolution that has been, is, and will be a model of humanism and solidarity.  

Secretariat of UNEAC (Union of Cuban Writers and Artists) 
National Leadership, Hermanos Saíz Association 
16-03-2010
 

Translated by Granma International  

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