The Cuban Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso, and the pro-government writers accused “the machinery of imperial hatred” of being behind the decision of the Marché de la Poésie in Paris to withdraw the writer Nancy Morejón from the honorary presidency of that festival, one of the most important literary events in Europe.
Through a press release, the organizers of the Poetry Market assured that the decision was justified in defense of “all forms of freedom, be it creation, opinion and expression” that characterizes the meeting.
Signed by Yves Boudier, president of the c/i/r/c/é association, which manages the Market, Vincent Gimeno-Pons, his delegate, Madeleine Renouard and Jean-Michel Place, vice-presidents, and the treasurer Patrick Robin, the text describes the existence of “pressure, rumors and attempts” launched from both parties to the conflict – the Cuban cultural authorities and Morejón’s detractors – that were added to the causes of the annulment.
“We will be careful to reject any request that seeks to impose options contrary to our values, and we will favor the path of dialogue and the defense of human rights,” they summarized.
“We will be attentive to reject any request that seeks to impose options contrary to our values, and we will favor the path of dialogue and the defense of human rights”
The Cuban writer living in France, Jacobo Machover, who led since last May 25 the complaint against Morejón for his support of the Havana regime, he celebrated the suspension of the entertainment. “Let this lady know that her support for the Castro dictatorship prevailing in Cuba invalidates her to overturn her ‘poetic’ propaganda in France, a democratic country. Cuba will be free,” she said.
After Machover’s protest, the official Cuban press began this Tuesday to publish his reaction to what was then alone a private announcement of the measure –also signed by Boudier and Gimeno-Pons– to the Pen Club of France, one of the organizations that joined the complaint. In addition to notifying her intention to “resign” from offering the poet the honor of presiding over the festival, the organizers apologized for “not having delved” into her biography.
Instead, the ruling party accused “reactionary sectors of Cuban emigration” of calling a “cultural war” against Morejón. For his part, the Minister of Culture Alpídio Alonso alleged that Morejón was being “victim of the abuse of some cowards”, while the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (Uneac) held an act of “reparation” at its headquarters in Havana.
“Those who align themselves with those who hate and undo, pressured the organizers of the event so that Nancy would be deprived of the status of Honorary President of the appointment, an inauguration with which they did justice to a work of international resonance “, affirmed Alberto Marrero, president of the Uneac writers.
Several days ago, Machover described as “delusional” that this honor be granted to a writer who supports an authoritarian regime like the Cuban one. “I demand that this error be corrected and that the honorary title that has been improperly attributed to the poet Nancy Morejón be withdrawn. This act would contribute to the freedom of Cuba and, of course, of its poetry and literature, which constitute the common heritage of all writers and poets throughout the world,” he said. In the days that followed, dozens of writers, artists, activists, and journalists joined the claim.
Another of the letters that the poet signed twenty years ago, Machover affirmed, was the one that justified the arrest and sentencing of 75 dissidents, several of them writers, during the Black Spring of 2003.
In his open letter to the organizers, Machover pointed out that Morejón is aligned with “the prevailing dictatorial regime in Cuba” and is part of its “cultural authorities” in Uneac. Precisely as part of that institution, Morejón has been a signatory of several documents of adherence to the regime, the most recent in October 2022, and in which the poet’s signature appears in sixth place.
Another of the letters that the poet signed twenty years ago, Machover affirmed, was the one that justified the arrest and sentencing of 75 dissidents, several of them writers, during the Black Spring of 2003. In addition, that document validated the execution of three young people who they had tried to escape from Cuba by hijacking a boat.
Morejón also appeared on Cuban Television one day after the popular protests of July 11, 2021, to insult the protesters in these terms: “These events of yesterday, unacceptable, condemnable in every sense, are part of such a terrible old pandemic. like this one that plagues us (the covid-19): that of the empire”.
Held from June 7 to 12 in the Saint-Sulpice square in the French capital, the Poetry Market had an opening ceremony by Morejón, as well as various panels and conferences.
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