14ymedio’s Faces of 2020: Pedro Junco, Writer from Camaguey

Pedro Junco López was expelled from the Cuban Writers and Artists Union in August (Courtesy)

14ymedio biggerPedro Armando Junco (b. Camagüey, 1947), was one of the most successful writers and intellectuals in Cuba. But as he became more belligerent in his political demonstrations, his luck changed, to the point of being expelled from the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (Uneac), to which he had belonged for dozens of years and which had distinguished him with the National David Prize in 1987 for his book La furia de los vientos (The Fury of the Winds).

As early as 2015, Junco began to commit himself with more of an emphasis on politics. That year, his son, the rocker Pedro Mandy Junco, was murdered in an unfortunate event that led the author to become involved in a campaign in favor of tougher penalties for this type of crime in Cuba.

But the radical change came this year, when he addressed an open letter to Miguel Díaz-Canel in which he lamented the sale of food and hygiene products in stores in freely convertible currency and claimed the right to question political decisions without being branded as enemy, as should happen in a democratic country.

The text annoyed, according to the author, due to its wide repercussions, which led to his expulsion from Uneac. But that was only the first step. Junco then began to sponsor a literary club that was held in August and September, not without problems, since in the second meeting a woman participant backed out, a sign that the intellectual did not know and did not want to see.

The suspension of the third meeting was already accomplished. An official telephoned one of the guests to warn him that it was best not to attend. Although Junco decided to go ahead, he was summoned by the authorities and told that the event was not going to take place. A new demonstration that censorship does not stop even with those who once were the standard bearers of culture.

See more 14ymedio’s series Faces of 2020


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