An Open Letter on the Situation in Venezuela

Protesters in Venezuela support of Juan Guaidó on January 23. (jguaido)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio,  Ernesto Hernández Busto, 15 March 2019 —  Poor Venezuela! After having undertaken what it announced as a radical process of social transformation, a process intended to mark a turning point in Latin American ideology and guarantee a project of social equality baptized as “21st century socialism,” today the country has ended up becoming a despotic compound, where not only are the most basic political rights violated, but one in which a person can barely survive with a minimum of dignity. From the promised emancipation to compulsory destitution; from the dream of the continental left to the prototype of failure, despair and exodus: such is the sad journey of the so-called “Bolivarian Revolution.”

Given the serious political and humanitarian situation that Venezuela is going through today, we the undersigned, Cuban intellectuals who reside inside and outside the island, demand that the Cuban Government ackknowlege the evidence of the social and humanitarian disaster, refrain from intervening by any means in the political conflict of that nation, and withdraw its numerous “cooperators,” both civilian and military, who are working in that country. After six decades of a failed revolution, after the collapse of that “Cubazuela” celebrated for years by the Castrochavism, it is time for Cuba to stop exporting or stirring up conflicts in other countries under the pretext of ideological solidarity, and to ensure they can subsist with their own resources, without exploitation or interference of any kind.

Signers of this open letter

Ernesto Hernández Busto, writer; Ladislao Aguado, writer and editor; Carlos A. Aguilera, writer; Janet Batet, curator and art critic; Yoandy Cabrera, academic; María A. Cabrera Arús, academic; Pablo de Cuba Soria, writer and editor; Enrique del Risco, writer and academic; Armando Chaguaceda, political scientist; Paquito D’Rivera, musician, composer and writer; Néstor Díaz de Villegas, writer; Manuel Díaz Martínez, writer; Jorge I. Domínguez-López, writer and journalist; Vicente Echerri, writer; Abilio Estévez, writer; Gerardo Fernández Fe, writer; Alejandro González Acosta, writer and academic; Ginés Gorriz, producer; Kelly M. Grandal, writer; Natacha Herrera, journalist; José Kozer, poet; Boris Larramendi, musician; Felipe Lázaro, writer and editor; Rafael López-Ramos, visual artist; Jacobo Machover, writer and academic; Roberto Madrigal, writer; María Matienzo Puerto, writer and journalist; L. Santiago Méndez Alpízar, writer; Michael H. Miranda, writer and academic; Carlos Alberto Montaner, writer and journalist; Adrián Monzón, artist and producer; Lilliam Moro, writer; Luis Manuel Otero, artist and activist; Amaury Pacheco del Monte, writer and artivist; Geandy Pavón, photographer and visual artist; Gustavo Pérez-Firmat, writer and academic; José Prats Sariol, writer; Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, writer; Alexis Romay, writer; Rolando Sánchez Mejías, writer; Manuel Sosa, writer; Armando Valdés-Zamora, writer and academic; Amir Valle, writer; and Camilo Venegas Yero, writer and journalist.


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Geandy Pavón en Times Square: “Vanitas: Daniel’s Got a Gun” / Geandy Pavon

This article is from

Vanitas: Still Alive is a guerrilla projection by Cuban-American artist Geandy Pavón. This particular piece is part of a series of street interventions in which the artist for a short period of time transforms a particular place into something completely different from its original state. Even thought this piece stand by itself, it can be considered a sequence of his previous “Nemesis” project:

What is a Vanitas?

Vanitas (Latin, “vanity” ) in art, is a genre of still-life painting that flourished in the Netherlands in the early 17th century. A vanitas painting contains collections of objects symbolic of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures; it exhorts the viewer to consider mortality and to repent. The vanitas evolved from simple pictures of skulls and other symbols of death and transience frequently painted on the reverse sides of portraits during the late Renaissance. It had acquired an independent status by c. 1550, and by 1620, it had become a popular genre.

The Projection

The projection consists of a video in which an 11-year-old boy, points a pistol at his head. The place chosen for the projection is Times Square at nighttime, in front of a famous toy store, using the main wall of a theater, located on 44th Street and 7th Avenue. The child is Daniel Foxx, a child actor living in Los Angeles.

In the context of the city, the use of this image would function in the same way that the skull functioned in a baroque painting. Times Square, a place of artifice and mercantile excess, brings the concept of the baroque to the world stage. In the middle of this carnival-like atmosphere, the giant image of a suicidal child will appear, as if to remind us that behind the masquerade, there is another reality, that of death and uncertainty. “Vanitas” is a work that proposes to get to the core of this idea, to the skull, to the essence in which things seem to relinquish their skin to show themselves in their truest state. This reality, this naked bone, will acquire a real sense in the midst of the carnival, the festival of flesh that is Times Square.

This work is inspired by the current debate on the possession of firearms and the growing symptoms of violence in North America.

For more information please contact the artist at:

Tel.: (201) 289-2843

Note from Translating Cuba: Geandy Pavon’s well know for his “Nemesis” project which projects the faces of Cubans who have been assassinate by the government on the facades of buildings occupied by the Cuban government abroad. Translating Cuba is proud to be a small part of bringing Geandy’s work to a wider public.

28 April 2013