HAVANA (AP) — A group of Cuban artists and intellectuals say they won an unusual government vow of greater tolerance for independent art on Saturday after a demonstration in front of the Culture Ministry.
About 20 artists had gathered Friday and the crowd grew to 200 by late night, when Vice Minister Fernando Rojas and the directors of several associations affiliated with the governing Communist Party met with delegates of the demonstrators until after midnight.
The officials agreed to talks on “an agenda of multiple topics with proposals by both sides,” said writer Katherine Bisquet. In addition, “We will be able to meet without being harassed in independent spaces. There is a truce for independent spaces.”
The demonstration, and official willingness to deal with the participants is unusual in a country whose government historically has had little tolerance for open protest, tends to label dissenters as tools of its enemies