Harassed Humorist / Luis Felipe Rojas

Once again, I must turn to the only possible method I have from San German, Holguin to publish my post. Like so many other times, I send my post from my cellphone to someone’s email, who later re-sends it to my friends, who then publish it on my blog, which is not called “Crossing the Barbed Wires” for no reason:

Gabriel as “Mongo Sierra”, together with one of the actresses from the show “Let me Tell You”

Harassed Humorist

Censorship and fear of freedom has once again knocked on the door of Cuban art. The logic of governmental repression aims its weapons at those who, in an either restrained or open manner, use their artistic manifestations to criticize and shed light upon the things which those in power try to hide from eyes of citizens. Now, it’s the turn of the university professor and comedian Gabriel Dario Guerra Gonzalez, who claimed to feel harassed and bothered by the national police in the municipality of Pilon, in Granma province. Guerra Gonzalez assured to “Crossing the Barbed Wires” that during the months of January and July he has had two searches of his home without any charges against him, and he added that on July 12th, after the latest search, the officials forced him to sign an Official Warning Notice, after telling him that the objective of the search was to see if he had clandestinely obtained beef in his home.

“On the first occasion”, he pointed out, “my son’s laptop was searched and taken to a technology expert, supposedly because of using it to falsify money. They returned it and apologized, but the damage to my personal image is already done”. Dario Guerra is also a specialist in recreation in the “Marea de Portillo” Tourist Spot, located in the mentioned mountainous locality of the Cuban East. In addition to being an Assistant Professor of Cuban Theater, he also has a work contract with the Provincial Music Center of Bayamo. He has written scripts for Cuban television and he has participated in the comedy show “Let me Tell You”, where he has interpreted both feminine and masculine characters such as the peasant, Mongo Sierra. His uni-personal works deal with themes as incandescent as the economic situation of the country and the bravery of Cubans who manage to surpass everyday obstacles, said some sources who were interviewed, and that could very well be the origin of the current issues being placed before him by the authorities. Two other humorists interviewed, who have asked to not be named, assured that Gabriel Guerra fills up all the local venues where he presents himself with his comedy and ideas, under the rural Mongo Sierra character and that he had never been bothered before.

Gabriel Guerra Gonzalez has a book of rhymes published under “Bayamo Editions”, he is author of various stories, and is a renowned writer of poems and children’s books.

Translated by Raul G.

20 July 2012