In a joint letter to Edita Hrdá, the managing director for Americas European External Action Service (EEAS), Freemuse and CADAL raise concern over the proliferating discrimination towards artistic organisations and initiatives in Cuba by the Cuban authorities.
The organisations request that the Delegation of the European Union in Cuba includes in their cultural cooperation programs the independent artistic initiatives in the economic and cultural negotiations and policy to uphold the human right to freedom of expression in Cuba.
The Cuban Constitution states that “artistic creativity is free as long as its content is not contrary to the Revolution”. However, the Cuban authorities are continually subjecting artists to threats, persecution and numerous short detention periods for their artistic expressions.
The letter refers to cases such as the detention of artists and activists Lía Villares and Luis Trápaga by the Cuban security forces, the persecution and harassment by the State Security to artists like Tania Bruguera, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Iris Ruiz and Adonis Milan.
Freedom of artistic expression in Cuba is guaranteed by Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Furthermore, the January 2018 report by the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights outlines the importance of artistic freedom providing significant contributions towards creating, developing and maintaining societies in which all human rights are increasingly realised.