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Why Did Cuba Deport Artists Trying to Attend Havana’s First Alternative Biennial?

Repeating Islands

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An essay by Coco Fusco for Hyperallergic.

While governments and the media may tout the reforms in Cuba, the reality for artists on the island nation is far more precarious.

It has been argued in The New York Times that Raul Castro is a reformer who made the expansion of independent businesses in Cuba possible. The recent explosion of bed and breakfasts, beauty parlors, and repair shops run out of private homes is widely welcomed as a sign of positive change. While the Trump administration attempts to reverse Obama’s Cuba policies and curtail profits from tourism that flow to the Cuban state, it has spoken favorably about the country’s burgeoning private sector. The country’s new president, Miguel Diaz Canel, has been cast as a liberal who has a Facebook account, rides a bike and supports gays in his home province of Villa Clara. Prior to taking office he gave no…

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