14ymedio, Madrid, January 9, 2024 — The deputy ministers of Culture Fernando Rojas Gutiérrez and Kenelma Carvajal Pérez were dismissed from their positions on Monday, January 8, and will be replaced by two much younger faces, those of Lizette Martínez Luzardo, 36 years old and up to now director general of Cultural Policies, and Lillitsy Hernández Oliva, 41, current president of the National Council of Performing Arts (CNAE).
“This move responds to the country’s policy of gradual renewal of management at all levels and ratifies in practice the confidence of the Revolution in young people,” says the statement from the Ministry of Culture.
The statement applies the usual official language, which it calls “liberation by renewal” to the exit of their predecessors, for whom it reserves praise ideologically without any mention of their role in the management of the area. “The Board of Directors of the Ministry of Culture recognized the dedication, revolutionary loyalty and impeccable ethical conduct of both cadres.”
“The Board of Directors of the Ministry of Culture recognized the dedication, revolutionary loyalty and impeccable ethical conduct of both cadres”
Kenelma Carvajal, previously in charge of Artistic Teaching, will now have “new tasks assigned by the Central Committee of the Party.” She is the wife of photographer Alejandro Castro Soto del Valle, the son of Fidel Castro and Dalia del Valle.
Her activity in international forums is known, and a little more than a month ago she was an active part of the group of officials who attacked the Instar Film Festival, organized by the Hannah Arendt Institute of Artivism and directed by the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera. “Once again, the counterrevolution machinery is attacking the institutional system of culture and the film festival of the Cuban people,” Kenelma Carvajal wrote on her networks, sharing an official text opposing the event.
Deputy Minister Fernando Rojas Gutiérrez, who will continue as an advisor to the Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso, is better known. The deputy minister, brother of the renowned Mexican resident historian Rafael Rojas, has been one of the great battering rams of the regime, highlighting among his most recent performances the tense meeting with the artists of the 27N collective in which his boss ended up slapping the independent journalist Mauricio Mendoza.
That day, several artists who held a sit-in against the cultural authorities arrived at the ministry after paying tribute to José Martí on the eve of the 168th anniversary of his birth, demanding to meet with a senior official to raise their concerns. Alonso and Rojas appeared for a conversation that became a dispute and ended with police repression.
Hernández Oliva attacked Yunior García Aguilera after the playwright, then in Cuba, called for a Civic March for Change in November 2021
Her successor also lacks merit in that sense. Hernández Oliva attacked Yunior García Aguilera after the playwright, then in Cuba, called for a Civic March for Change in November 2021. A few days before, the official met with him – presumably to pressure him and to reverse his purpose – and, after the meeting, she wrote on her social networks:
“Today, in the morning, we talked to Yunior García, a playwright who maintains a work relationship with one of our institutions. We learned of the refusal by the authorities of his call for a march in violation of our laws and the warning about the crimes that he would incur to maintain his action. Yunior has accessed benefits to which every artist is entitled, including the granting of scholarships and prizes, and has enjoyed salary protection for workers in the sector during the pandemic. His actions show ignorance of our institutions and are not compatible with the contractual relationship maintained so far with the CNAE.”
Her place as president of the National Council of Performing Arts will now be occupied by Rachel García Heredia, current provincial director of Culture of Holguín.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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