Through Posters, a Dialogue about Cuba’s Future

cartel-pulido-por-otra-720341-203x300Christine Armario (Associated Press) writes about a poster exhibition held in Miami earlier this month (May 4) by State of SATS, an activist group attempting to foster civil society and stimulate discussion about Cuba’s future. The group’s leader, Antonio Rodiles, is in Miami to promote a campaign demanding that Cuba implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ratify two United Nations covenants the government signed in 2008 protecting civil, political, social and economic rights. The works will later be on view in Havana. Here are excerpts:

In one poster, Raul and Fidel Castro ride in a hot air balloon made of newspapers. Their fingers are plugged into their ears, drowning out any noise around them. A blue bird similar to the Twitter icon flies nearby, its beak threatening to punch a hole and send them to the ground.  In another, a Havana street is lined with banners hanging from streetlights. “Citizen demand for another Cuba,” the signs read. “Sign it now!”

The posters all contain the words “For Another Cuba” and were created by artists on the island and in the diaspora. [. . .] “The posters are part of a campaign including artists, musicians and citizens of all types,” said Rodiles, 40, who earned a doctorate in physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and taught at Florida State University before returning to Cuba. “Caricatures and posters send very direct messages that sometimes words and analysis cannot.”

Rodiles and other members of State of SATS are the most recent Cuban opposition leaders to travel abroad and share their work with the international community—and the large base of exiles in Miami—since Cuba eliminated its exit permit requirement in January.  [. . .] But at the very least, their visits have provoked a dialogue in Miami of Cubans from different waves of immigration.

[. . .] State of SATS believes change can be provoked by building an independent civil society in Cuba, much like what occurred in Eastern Europe more than two decades ago. The group coordinates panels and lectures in Havana on topics like “Master Plan for a 21st Century Havana” and “The Media in Cuba Today.” The events are all taped, burned onto DVDs for distribution and placed on YouTube, where some of their videos have received thousands of hits.

Rodiles said he doesn’t know precisely how many people they reach, but a large enough number that he and others from the organization are sometimes recognized on the streets. “We want Cuba to be a normal country, where we can talk among each other and change how we are living now,” said Rodiles, who has the confident voice of a professor and dressed in a light blue collared shirt and a pair of khaki pants.

Part of the “For Another Cuba” campaign includes a petition that has been signed by more than 3,600 people asking for the Cuban government to ratify the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The accords were signed by Cuban officials but not ratified. The text of the petition says the implementation of these accords would ensure respect for citizens regardless of their ideas and help in the formation of a free and plural Cuba.

See State of SATS http://www.estadodesats.com/en/ and Por Otra Cuba at http://www.porotracuba.org/

For full article, see http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_23177228/through-posters-dialogue-about-cubas-future

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