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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

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