Havana, Cuba – Renowned Cuban artists and scholars joined their voices and called on colleagues around the world to demand the U.S. government to end the economic blockade against the island at a moment when the country is facing the devastation of two hurricanes.
Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, general director of the Cuban National Ballet, said the message should go out to the American people, its best artists, creators and scientists.
Alonso, 87, said the United States continues to suffer from the effects of recent hurricanes in which Cuba was swept from one end to the other.
Hundreds of artists have signed the call, among them Eusebio Leal, Gaziella Pogolotti, Miguel Barnet, Roberto Fernández Retamar, Roberto Fabelo, Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Chucho Valdés, Omara Portuondo, Leo Brouwer, Alfredo Guevara, César Portillo de la Luz, Rosita Fornés, Harold Gramatges, Julio García Espinosa, Roberto Valera and Abelardo Estorino.
The document was presented in Havana by Cuban literary laureate Miguel Barnet, president of Cuban Artists and Writers National Association (UNEAC), before a large audience of artists who at the end of the meeting spontaneously sang the Cuban national anthem.
Cuban artists from non-affected areas, mostly Havana, have been taking their art to the areas hit by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
With their music and art, brigades of singers and artists have brought cheer to thousands of hurricane victims in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Holguin and in the Island of Youth.