In recent days I have gotten the same questions from three different people (which, under these circumstances, stops being a fluke). What do you need to leave Cuba, what would you demand?
The first time, the question came as a surprise, and I replied spontaneously: a letter from the Minister of Justice which says that my case is closed and I can enter and leave the country without problem, like any other Cuban; to the second person who asked me, with a phrase repeated almost from memory, I added: and to let me do the performance, causing a temporary expression of disgust on their face. The third person I could not answer, thinking about the law of chances.
Yesterday a friend who visited me told me, “We are almost there, we are almost there.” I have learned in these times to discern when words truly belong to those who speak them and when they’re messages from other sources, the consequence of conversations with third parties, or just to prove something.
If this was nothing more than simple curiosity, now that the Biennale is just around the corner, I will answer here what I would ask of them in order for me to agree to leave Cuba:
. A resolution from the Minister of Justice which makes it clear my case is closed and I can enter and leave the country like any other Cuban citizen and what has transpired does not remain as a criminal record or pending case;
. That the same apply to Antonio Rodiles and Ailer Gonzalez, who are in the same circumstances and part of the same case;
. That the artist El Sexto be released so he can wait on parole for the resolution of his case;
. That all my belongings seized by State Security since the day of my arrest be returned to me;
. That the parties responsible publicly rectify the defamatory materials disseminated about me and issue an apology from all the institutions involved.
What would I like to ask? That in Cuba a law be proposed that protects the rights of freedom of expression, based on the penal code, and that decriminalizes difference of opinion and instead criminalizes violence against those who think differently; a law that would allow the right to a difference of opinion and would prohibit discrimination against minorities with different political thinking.
Oh… and to let me do the performance without violence, without rapid response brigades, and instead with ordinary Cubans coexisting peacefully, respecting our differences, like the speech Raúl Castro recently delivered at the The Summit of the Americas.