The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.42           November 23, 1998 
Cuban Writers And Artists Congress Tackles Pressures Of Capitalist Market  

HAVANA, Cuba - Some 320 delegates and several hundred guests from around the island took part in the sixth national congress of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), held here November 5-7. The event brought together musicians, writers, painters, photographers, architects, stage designers, film artists, dancers, and others. The delegates at the meeting, which received widespread public attention here, discussed some of the broad questions facing the Cuban revolution today as well as the pressing issues affecting Cuban artists - from guaranteeing artists' right to a livelihood to waging a political fight against the bourgeois ideas and values fostered by the pressures of the capitalist market.

The process leading up to the congress began eight months ago with a series of discussions by UNEAC members in the different provinces and in several commissions, which included representatives of the five associations UNEAC encompasses: plastic arts (sculpture and painting); theater; music; literature; and film, radio, and television. Out of these meetings several policy documents were drafted for discussion at the congress. These included a central report from the Organizing Committee as well as reports on: culture and society, culture and development, culture and tourism, culture and the community, the economics of culture, art instruction, and UNEAC's statutes.

The delegates met in plenary sessions and in commissions. Following discussion each of the draft reports was adopted and a new 150-member National Council and seven-member secretariat was elected. Carlos Martí, a prominent writer and poet who headed the organizing committee for the congress, was elected president of UNEAC.

Reprinted here is the document on "Culture and Society" read by Roberto Fernández Retamar to the UNEAC congress. Fernández Retamar is a prominent writer and president of the Cuban cultural institution Casa de las Américas.

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