The decree requires artists to obtain government approval before performing or displaying their work, while also regulating the artwork itself. For example, it prohibits audiovisual content that contains “sexist, vulgar and obscene language” or that uses “national symbols” in ways that “contravene current legislation.” Government inspectors can impose fines on offenders and confiscate their property.
One of the most eloquent voices against the decree has been that of [Anton] Arrufat, an 83-year-old poet, playwright and novelist who has lived through the ups and downs of the Cuban Revolution. “All attempts at censorship ultimately fail,” he told me, “because all they do is turn a work of art into a monument: They call attention to it and give it fame. In the end the censor will be forgotten and the work will live on.”
(Ruben Gallo, “Is This the End of Cuba’s Astonishing Artistic Freedom?,” NYTimes, 2-18-19)
(c) 2019 JMN.