U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives


Cuban dissident talks about the importance of freedom of expression and intellectual freedom in his project, Independent Libraries for Cuba

July 30, 2004


Mr. Ramon Colás, Founder and Director of Independent Libraries for Cuba spent four days in Uruguay (July 26-29) conducting press interviews as well as meeting with librarians and members of the afro-uruguayan institutions, Centro Cultural por la Paz y la Integración (CE.CU.PI) and Mundo Afro.

During his visit, Ramón Colás was interviewed by top journalist Jorge Traverso at his morning talk show “Tiempo Presente”, at FM Concierto, and by Daniel Supervielle, who writes for the column “Historias de Vida” in El Observador. Mr. Colás’ ample cultural and academic background and profound knowledge of Cuban society and political processes in Latin America immediately captured the interest of both journalists as he vividly described his fight to defend human rights and intellectual freedom in Cuba.

Mr. Colás had a lunch with Uruguayan librarians and visited the National Library and the Municipal Library Ma. Stagnero de Munar. Mr. Colás had the opportunity to explain the origin of the libraries project emphasizing that freedom of expression and intellectual freedom in Cuba are the main objectives of the project.

In addition, Mr. Colás addressed members of Ce.Cu.Pi and Mundo Afro where he described his struggles in overcoming racial barriers and discussed his current endeavor to promote basic rights such as freedom of the press and freedom of information for Cuban citizens. Representatives from Ce.Cu.Pi and Mundo Afro shared their perspectives on some of the socio cultural issues afro-uruguayans are challenged with and gave him a tour of their institutions and a demonstration of candombe rhythms.

Mr. Colás has been in exile since 2001 and now lives in Miami with his family. Mr. Colás travels abroad promoting Libraries for Cuba and spreading the word on how book donations can support the libraries project.

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