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Díaz-Canel joins cultural policy discussion

danceMiguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, emphasized during the first meeting since the IX Congress of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC), September 30, the need to systematize and promote the cultural policy principles of the Cuban Revolution, adding that institutions should function like true representatives of the creators to whom they are responsible.

The agenda, addressed by writer and artist members of the UNEAC leadership and the Ministry of Culture’s board of directors to follow up on accords adopted at the UNEAC Congress, took up several problems identified during the event regarding the implementation of cultural policy.

Among the issues were some inadequacies in the institutional system’s work to direct, guide, control, and execute the application of cultural policy in the sector’s entities, as well as tasks related to its role in the fields of education, tourism and the media, as well as local bodies subordinate to the Ministry.

More than a dozen individuals made remarks during the discussion, highlighting the need to update policy concepts to current circumstances, including the implementation of improvements in the Ministry of Culture’s structure as well as its functions, with an emphasis on institutional efficiency.

It was acknowledged that the inadequate selection, suitability, training, and preparation of part of the sector’s cadres flows from the functioning of the institutional system, due to ignorance of the particularities of cultural promotion and management, and insensitivity and lack of understanding of the social role of culture, which is accentuated at the territorial and local levels.

In addition, the need to strengthen and systematize the dialogue between cultural cadres, workers, and promoters with creators was reaffirmed, as well as the importance of the artistic and literary vanguard being part of advisory councils and consulted when decisions are made regarding program design and social projection of institutions.

The Ministry of Culture provided details on the improvement and updating of cultural development programs in institutions and territories at all levels, and unveiled a set of necessary actions to solve the deficiencies that were discussed with the writers and artists.

Among the Ministry’s specific priorities are raising the quality of programming in accordance with artistic standards and guaranteeing creators’ participation in its design and execution.

In their comments, writers and artists agreed on the inadequate role of criticism in the establishment of cultural standards and the orientation of different segments of the population. Moreover, they advocated input in the training of those practicing these professions, which requires a qualitatively different partnership with higher education institutions.

Díaz-Canel said that through the state’s political will, the commitment of the intellectual and artistic vanguard in UNEAC, and the consolidation of the institutional system in a consistent and integrated manner, it is possible to resolve problems and move toward having a greater impact on the nation’s cultural life.

Others participants in the discussion were Víctor Gaute, member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee and head of its Ideological Department; Alpidio Alonso, Minister of Culture; and Luis Morlote, UNEAC President.


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