Cuban artists reaffirm solidarity with Palestinian people

Havana, Feb 22 (Prensa Latina) Writers and intellectuals reaffirmed their solidarity with the people of Palestine at an event held on Thursday within the framework of the 32nd Havana International Book Fair.

The event took place at the Abelardo Estorino Theater, the headquarters of Cuba’s Ministry of Culture, where guests made their position against the genocide committed by the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank clear.

The event was chaired by Abdel Nasser, former Palestinian Ambassador to Ecuador and advisor to the Palestinian National Council; Murat Al-Sudanni, general secretary of the Palestinian Writers Union; and Akram Samhan, Palestinian ambassador to Cuba.

Also present were the ambassadors from Algeria, Egypt, Syria and Yemen to Cuba, who expressed their support for the cause of the attacked Gaza.

As part of the cultural event, actors Simon Carlos and Irasema Cruz recited the poems “El pasaporte” (The Passport), “Carnet de identidad” (ID) and “Nosotros amamos la vida” (We Love Life”) by Mahmud Darwish, who is considered the Palestinian national poet.

During the meeting, Nasser reflected on the 1948 incidents in Palestine that led to the creation of the State of Israel and the role played by the United Kingdom and the United States; the latter he described as “the world’s police.”

Why do the Israelis have the right to come to the West Bank and steal my land? Where is justice in this world? Palestinians love peace; they have been fighting for 77 years to live in peace in a free and independent State, he declared.

It is time for the bloodshed to stop; Palestine is the beacon of security in the world and Jerusalem is the gateway to peace; the war in Palestine dates back 70 years and not to October last year, Al-Sudanni noted.

He denounced how Israel’s army is holding even deaths and strongly reaffirmed that “despite this act of savagery, Palestine and its citizens will continue to resist until the establishment of an independent State and the return of the refugees to our beloved land.”

During the meeting, intellectuals Alex Pausides, Basilia Papastamatiu, Jorge Fuentes and Fidel Antonio Orta Perez recited their poems on the situation in Gaza, which they described as “appalling.”

“One cannot renounce to be heard, so that the whole world knows and is on the side of the good, which is the Palestinian side, highlighted Cuban editor and poet Alex Pausides, who presented his poem “Minute of Silence.”

Papastamatiu, in turn, recited “With their Souls Still Undiscovered,” and confessed that she cannot conceive how a people who lived through something as terrible as the Holocaust can repeat the same thing years later against another people.

I find this forgetfulness of history and the total lack of humanity terrible; we will also live with the guilt if we do not manage to unite, peoples and governments, to find a solution and stop this slaughter, the Argentine writer added.

Jorge Fuentes, author of “Gaza,” acknowledged that for Cuban writers and artists it is difficult not to be able to go and help in Palestine and only collaborate with a poem, an action that he described as “a very humble gesture compared to the great tragedy that people are currently living.”

The writers’ presentation ended up with the declamation of the poem “Arde la Franja de Gaza” (The Gaza Strip is Burning), by Fidel Antonio Orta, director of the Jesus Orta Ruiz Research Center.

The event concluded with the interpretation of the song “Palestine” by singer songwriter Ariel Diaz, who noted that one cannot stop singing when there is injustice, and even after the victory one must sing more.

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