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STATEMENT RE: The Canceled Designation of Honorary President to Cuban Poet Nancy Morejón in France Print E-mail

The Canadian Network on Cuba is appalled by the treatment in France of distinguished Cuban Poet Nancy Morejón, by the Paris Poetry Market (Marché de la Poésie). Nancy, an internationally recognized poet and academic, was the first Black woman to win Cuba’s National Literature Prize and her considerable body of work touches on Black Cuban history and culture, women, and much more.

The poetry festival’s 40th edition (June 7 to 11 in Paris) gave Honorary Presidency to Nancy Morejón, but then suddenly withdrew it after a campaign by right-wing activist and writer Jacobo Machover, who lives in Paris.  The PEN Club of France protested the honour to Morejón because she supports the Cuban government.

The shameful decision of the Poetry Market to cave and withdraw its merited invitation of Honorary President to Nancy sustains the glaring fact that the real censorship of Cubans comes from outside of Cuba.

This attack on Morejón is part of an orchestrated repression of Cubans who are faithful to the Cuban people, such as Buena Fe, a music group on tour in Spain, who in the midst of right-wing hardliners violently disrupting several of their performances, and attacking its singer Israel Rojas in a Barcelona restaurant, have pressured venues to cancel some scheduled concerts due to threats to the safety of the musicians and fans.

Artists and writers around the world have condemned this recent treatment of highly respected and creative Afro-Cuban woman Nancy Morejón. The CNC adds its voice to those condemning the attempts to silence a great Cuban poet.  We join protests from UNEAC, the World Poetry Movement, the International Union of Left Publishers, and others.

Nancy Morejon’s incredible work and legacy should be shared with the world, but instead, we see this effort that is congruent with the imperial onslaught and economic, media and culture war against Cuba, attempt to silence her. The Canadian Network on Cuba offers its support and solidarity with Nancy Morejón and to all Cubans who are standing up to unjustified, malicious attacks.

Samantha Hislop

Julio Fonseca

Co-Chairs, Canadian Network on Cuba

LETTER TO EDITOR IN CHIEF OF CBC RE: “As holidaying Canadians return to Cuba, Cubans themselves are fleeing in record numbers” by Evan Dyer Print E-mail
Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

What a superficial, dishonest, and biased article published by the CBC, penned by Evan Dyer. After reading, it looks like information gathered from Facebook, where, as you know, anything goes. The CBC’s mandate is to inform and enlighten, and this article does a grave disservice to that endeavor, and to the Cuban people.

Mr. Dyer, either out of sheer ignorance of the geopolitical context in which Cuba lives, or on purpose, fails to mention, even once, the system of punitive sanctions and ridiculous prohibitions which compose the Blockade (euphemistically called the “embargo”) that the US imposes on Cuba for 63 years now. It is the longest siege in history. It is an economic war on Cuban families, a campaign of persecution and intimidation aimed, besides Cuba, at third parties, who in exercise of their sovereignty, choose or intend to establish any kind of ties with the island. It is the main obstacle for the development of the country.

Just imagine the damage that this undeclared war on Cuba has had throughout the decades. Now add the economic crisis that the whole world faces because of the pandemic, which has hit Cuba severely, a blockaded underdeveloped country. And just when one thinks that it could not get worse, then President Trump, advised by the most rancid ultra-right elements of his party, maliciously imposes 243 additional sanctions on Cuba (Biden has only just allowed Western Union to reinitiate remittances to Cuba, although only from the US, and some travel to the island with restrictions).

Only very recently, the US restored visa services in their embassy in Havana, so those Cubans who in the middle of the current economic situation wanted to emigrate previously had to go to a third country, resulting in added costs and insecurity. The average Cuban faces incredible hardships while the government does its best to prioritize the essentials. The situation is bad. However, no hospital or school has been closed, and no one has been abandoned to their fate. There are no children sleeping in the streets in Cuba.

If he were really concerned about Cuba, Mr. Dyer should be asking Canadians to continue visiting Cuba to help its people and economy. Canadians who travel to Cuba regularly know better, and that’s why they keep going to enjoy the warmth and the culture of Cuba. And, most importantly, Mr. Dyer should recognize the real problem that Cuba faces – the inhumane Blockade.

Samantha Hislop
Julio Fonseca
Co-Chairs, Canadian Network on Cuba

Open Letter to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Print E-mail

TONIGHT: The World Says YES to Cuba! Print E-mail

At the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month, the world voted 185 - 2 to end the six decade-long blockade on Cuba. This is the 30th consecutive year that the UNGA has voted overwhelmingly to end this cruel and self-serving blockade. For all its talk of the "rules-based order" the US continues to act as a rogue state internationally. When will this imperialist state finally become mature enough to respect the sovereignty of other nations and act in accordance with the unified will of the world's people to let Cuba live how it chooses?

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Marlene Alexander
Niki Ashton
Giuvel Orozco Ortega
Luis Fidel Escalante

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