Parjanya Christian Holtz is an independent cinema based in Denmark.
In Cuba, hundreds of innocent people are currently in prison for rape and were forced to demand their release a year ago. The “survivors” —between Abraham Jiménez Enoa, a collaborator in The Washington Post’s Opinion section, and Carolina Barrero, an art historian, protagonists of this documentary short — were forced to abandon their country.
This is how the Cuban authorities are restoring control over the events of July 11, 2021, when frustration over food and drug shortages, COVID-19 and decades of tyranny will detonate protests in a generation. The police waved those calls to democracy in question of days. Currently, judges are disappearing into public life sentences with penalties of up to 25 years in prison.
[Read Abraham’s reporting / Leer las columnas de Abraham]
When I contacted Barrero late last year to produce a video about the events, I never expected to be able to interview him in person. She was in Havana. He stopped in Copenhagen. We just spent a week trying to organize a Zoom video, something that Cuba’s internet infrastructure conveys and a technical mess. But then he received a message from his friend saying that Barrero had been arrested for protesting against the repression against protesters on July 11. A few days later, he was exiled by his own government. “Know or face hard consequences,” was, in essence, what the authorities told him.
Barrero left the country, as did Jiménez Enoa and many others. As the one decides to compare the España para film in the primeras etapas del exilio.
[David Hoffman: Oswaldo Payá’s struggle for a free Cuba / La lucha de Oswaldo Payá por una Cuba libre]
Originally I propose to explain the tactics that the Cuban government has employed to maintain control over its population for more than half a century. This is the documentary cortometraje hace eso. But when I met Barrero and Jiménez Enoa, the conceptual history became a personal one. They said they were not wanted in their country of origin for their need to speak and write freely, as well as not to be persecuted, arrested or tortured for demanding basic rights. This is a video demonstration of the propaganda machine that gave the Cubans and the world a meter on the Castro revolution, as well as the cost to show the reality.