Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

11 de Febrero del 2000

BE ALERT! GOVERNMENT PLANS TO REINTRODUCE ITSELF INTO THE PUBLISHING WORLD. By Marcos Yanes, Cuba Free Press. ` Fomento, Sancti Spiritus.- "For this occasion a heavy sum has been invested and we aim to introduce ourselves gradually into the prominent world of publishing and to function as an efficient entity which contributes to sustain the government view of looking on the book as the pre-eminence of the revolution."

These words were pronounced by Omar González, president of the Cuban Book Institute on the eve of the International Book Fair in Havana.

What González did not say is that in the town of Cabaiguán there exists neither a library nor a bookstore and in Fomento the same thing is happening. The public library has not functioned for two years because of the bad state of the bookcases. The bookstore has been closed for three weeks for unknown reasons. People comment that these places will become museums.

One might ask oneself: Why does government introduce itself into the prominent world of publishing if there are no local places for books? The answer will mark the history of the Cuban publishing experiment. Since the beginning of the Revolution the spreading of Marxist-Leninist ideas was the A-1 priority.

The literary boom in Latin America in the '70s had a lot to do with the freedom from difficulties which the Cuban government gave to many a young writer. There were household gods who would be ambitious, have a desire to succeed and be eternally grateful in the not-too-distant future for the favors they received. The case of García Márquez is the most notable.

The rest, the majority of Cubans, have been condemned to ostracism and have had to emigrate. In other lands they reap successes and receive awards.

One might speculate then that what the government perhaps is trying to achieve is to reintroduce itself (with an injection of investors) so as to spread across the publishing world the ideological thinking which dominates the nation (a return to the '60s).

Marcos Yanes, Cuba Free Press.

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