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Cuban Ambassador Writes To NZ Herald Again

Cuban Ambassador Writes To NZ Herald Again

Dear Editor:

In what already could be a personal agenda, whose motivations are not clear, we find Peter Calder again giving opinions about Cuba, supposedly in his area of expertise: arts.

In my previous letter to the Editor that the New Zealand Herald did not publish, I had asked Peter Calder to stay out of politics as he has said he was just an arts and movie critic. Now I have my doubts in both cases: whether he can keep out of politics and whether he is even good in his special field. I wonder why the New Zealand Herald allows him to continue his unsubstantiated opinions and factual mistakes about Cuba with a particular aggressive attitude that does not seem to be spontaneous.

I am commenting his article called A little piece of Havana, where he takes any unwarranted opportunity to attack Cuba. He does not know that Cuban arts is highly appreciated in Europe, Japan, the United States and other places as well, and those who attend the Havana Gallery in Auckland will have the opportunity to understand that Cuban arts is in the avant-garde of world arts these days. Mr Calder should be aware that one of the most prestigious International Biennale of Arts takes place in Cuba every two-year, and it was precisely there that David Walker came to know about Cuban arts.

As usual Mr. Calder provides opinion without facts and contributes to the US official propaganda against Cuba when he affirms that “… Everyone can read and write but there’s nothing to read and you have to be careful what you write…" He does not know that the biggest Book Fair of all Latin America takes place in Cuba every February and that we have extended it to the whole country and attendance has grown from 200,000 in the year 2000 to over 3.5 million in 2003, with a total of 2,892,566 books sold, not just Cuban books but the best of international literature and essays.

Again trying to go far from arts and well into politics he contradicts himself when he says that there are not explicit political statements in Cuban paintings (why does he have to look for that in Cuban paintings and not in any other paintings?) but then he sees a painting that “…speaks of longing for escape and the fear of exile…”

I would appreciate that this reply should be published in the New Zealand Herald. I am preparing another reply to Mr. Calder for his outrageous article full of lies about Che Guevara in his review about the movie “Motorcycle Diaries”.

Thanking you in advance,
Miguel Ramirez
Cuban Ambassador

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