Before we are too quick to judge, let me ask: “Would I be able to set up an open mic in any spot I wish on the streets (or public parks) of Poughkeepsie (New York) without a permit from local authorities?” The answer is “No.” Would I be arrested? Would I have to pay a hefty fine? Yes and yes. Just saying…
Cuban authorities released the artist Tania Bruguera, who was arrested on Tuesday for wanting to carry out an event at Revolution Square in Havana, which involved placing an open mic for citizens to express their views on the future of Cuba.
Besides Bruguera, several dissidents were also arrested, such as Antonio Rodiles, Reinaldo Escobar—esposo husband of the well-known blogger Yoani Sánchez—and Eliecer Ávila, from the group “Somos Más.” The latter have also been released, according to the US newspaper El Nuevo Herald. According to the same medium, other dissidents still detained.
Cuban authorities said Tania Bruguera had not been permitted to conduct the event; apparently, she wanted to test the tolerance of the government of the island two weeks after the announcement of the restoration of relations between Cuba and the US.
The US State Department condemned the Cuban government’s use of arbitrary detention to silence critics.
El Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. dijo este miércoles que condena el uso por parte del gobierno.
Also see a longer New York Times article, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/opinion/cuba-turns-off-critics-open-mic.html?_r=0, and http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2014/12/141230_tania_bruguera_evento_performance_habana_wbm