INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Dissident Cuban Writers Launch Pen Club

Published: Thu 28 Jun 2007 01:56 PM
VZCZCXRO8688
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHUB #0619 1791356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281356Z JUN 07
FM USINT HAVANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1905
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0142
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0122
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0145
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUESDM/JTLO MIAMI FL
RUCOGCA/COMNAVBASE GUANTANAMO BAY CU
UNCLAS HAVANA 000619
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL KDEM PHUM CU
SUBJECT: DISSIDENT CUBAN WRITERS LAUNCH PEN CLUB
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED; HANDLE ACCORDINGLY
1. (SBU) A group of dissident Cuban writers, led by former
political prisoner Jorge Oliveira and Victor Manuel
Dominguez, founded a PEN Club in Cuba, and held its first
activity June 26 at the COM Residence. The event was largely
cultural, with a Cuban trio performing Cuban and American
music, and the writers reading their own and other Cubans'
poems, as well as works by American poets. They and the two
dozen other writers and dissidents present also paid homage
to the objective of PEN clubs worldwide, which is to
guarantee the right of freedom of expression. The German
embassy will host the group's second event in mid-July.
2. (SBU) Comment: In a less totalitarian world, this kind of
event might be held at a church, a university, or other
public place. Here, the dissident writers have few options
beyond foreign embassies or official residences -- and USINT
policy has been to make the COMR an open forum for exactly
these kinds of activities. Far more important than the venue
is the very fact of the PEN club's launch, demonstrating yet
again that important segments of Cuban civil society are
vibrant, and not willing to sit back and let the regime
dictate what passes for or doesn't pass for Cuban culture.
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