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Cuba: The Boss Speaks and Law 349 Punishes Independent Art in Cuba-Is this a step backward?

People say that when Fidel Castro saw his friend Rene Portocarrero go white as a sheet in the face of a horde of enraged speeches that were taking place at the first National Congress of Education and Culture in 1971, he kindly asked Alfredo Guevara to please get him out of there.

I don’t know if this story is true, although I do think it’s likely. I am not a painter and I was never one of Fidel’s personal friends, but in the face of the most recent proclamation of Decree-Law 349, even I have gone white as a sheet.

Published on July 10th in the Official Gazette, as agreed by the Council of Ministers in the exercise (I would say abuse) of their duties, the law hasn’t resonated among the public like you would expect it to because it could imply the beginning of a witch-hunt.

Some people who know about it have downplayed its consequences, but I am suspicious. Suspicious because it’s a gag and because it’s not right and people will only end up finding out about it when the hurricane is already upon them because they almost never pay attention to the first drop of rain, and it’s this first small drop, in this well of censorship, that people need to protest against from the very beginning.

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