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Defying Authorities, Cuban Artist Plans Rally, U.S. Groups Join Too

File photo of a a bike-taxi and a vintage American car in front of a building decorated with a large Cuban flag, on December 31, 2013, in Havana. ADALBERTO ROQUE / AFP/Getty Images

MIAMI, FL -- A rally to be held at Cuba’s Revolutionary Square has been picking up steam on social media and will continue as planned for Tuesday afternoon despite lack of permission by Cuban authorities.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera came up with the idea of a “performance” after the historic announcement that the U.S. and Cuba would reestablish diplomatic ties.

The “performance” or gathering called #YoTambienExijo (IAlsoDemand) will have a microphone set up at the Square underneath the statue of Cuba’s famed national hero, José Martí. Participants will have one minute to express their views about the future of the island. The idea originally began as a social media campaign.

Bruguera, a well respected artist in Cuba and internationally, arrived in Havana on December 26th to begin arrangements for the rally. Cuba’s National Mixed Media Arts Council denied support for the artist’s performance, saying the action would negatively impact public opinion at a key time for negotiation between the Cuban and U.S. governments. The Cuban Union of Artists and Writers have advised its members not to take part in the rally stating Bruguera is a “CIA Agent” and a “mercenary” and have said she is an opportunist seeking attention. Cuba’s National Revolutionary Police denied Bruguera demonstration permits.

In Miami, several Cuban exile groups said they are planning a simultaneous rally at 3pm at the Freedom of Tower in downtown Miami and a rally is also planned in New York City.


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--Carmen Sesin