Cuban authorities have retained all copies of exiled Cuban author Armando Lucas Correa’s new book ‘The German Girl’. The copies were shipped from the US as part of the cargo to be exhibited by Publishers Weekly’s delegation at the Havana International Book Fair, reported Diario de Cuba on 25 February 2017.
Customs authorities in Cuba at first retained the entire shipment, but released it shortly afterwards, except for all the copies of Correa’s book. The writer was travelling as part of the editors’ delegation and had planned to present and sign his book at the US Pavilion of the book fair.
“I am an exiled Cuban and my book is about fear of the other; be it fear of different politics or a different god. That is the problem with the Cuban government. I am not a protest instigator, I am not a political person, but I am independent and they fear me,” Correa said.
Correa also criticised an article written by Publishers Weekly in which they praised how Cuban and US editors worked together in solidarity during the fair, despite the embargo.
The writer responded to the letter via the following 15 February 2017 Facebook post:
Despite embargo? Rather, despite dictatorship, [despite] censorship that exists in Cuba, despite having retained the United States’ books at the Cuban customs and having our pavilion’s bookshelves empty on the first day of the fair, not having been able to sign ‘The German Girl’ as was part of the programme; having censored my novel and having forbidden that my name or my book’s cover appear in the US panels. Please … why don’t they mention any of that at Publishers Weekly? Because of fear; fear of not being invited next year.
The International Book Fair was held in La Havana from 9 February to 19 February 2017.
‘The German Girl’ is a fictional book narrating the story of the St. Louis ship’s passengers: Jews, many of whom were children, who were fleeing the Nazi regime and escaping to Cuba. Once they arrived in Cuba, the head of government went on sick leave, letting his officer handle the situation, which ultimately ended in the passengers being sent back to Germany, despite them having Cuban visas. After the passengers sent back, the head of government returned from sick leave.
» 28 February 2017 – CiberCuba
The German Girl – novel about the events of the St. Louis ship banned at book fair
» 25 February 2017 – Diario de Cuba
Government prevented ’The German Girl’ from appearing at book fair, says its author
» 25 February 2017 – Martí Noticias
”They fear me”, says editor of People in Spanish after censorship of his book in Cuba
» 15 February 2017 – Facebook
Statement by Armando Lucas Correa