Artist, campaigner and member of European Alternatives’ advisory board, Tania Bruguera appears to have been arrested on the 30th December 2014 in Cuba for organizing an art performance on Revolution Square in Havana, which would be an open mic on the future of the country. In an explicit reference to similar gatherings that have taken place over the last years in Tahrir, Porta del Sol, Syntagma Square or Gezi Park, Tania wanted to involve all Cubans in a free discussion about the future of the country, as trade liberalisations are announced by President Obama. The Cuban government did not give authorization for the event, and arrested several dissident political figures who were expected to attend. The current whereabouts of Tania is unconfirmed, but it is likely she has been detained by the Cuban government at the headquarters of the intelligence agency, Villa Marista.
Every citizen should have the right to free expression, should not face intimidation for their views and should be able to participate in deciding the future of their countries and communities. These are the rights Tania Bruguera was asserting in organizing the performance, and the Cuban government in their secretive and intimidating actions in detaining her undermine. Tania Bruguera has suffered increasing constraints on her movements in and out of Cuba, and state-organized intimidation even when working abroad.
European Alternatives associates itself entirely with Tania Bruguera’s campaign and demands her safe release immediately. We also call on governments of other countries, including the USA, to put pressure for her release. We see her campaign for free expression and political participation in Cuba as in full continuity with her ongoing campaigns for migrant rights through the immigrant movement international: freedom and equality beyond borders are the principles on which our 21st century should be built.