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7th Congress of the UNEAC: Cultural Struggle Stands for Survival of Humankind
The inaugural session of the Congress was attended by Cuban President Raul Castro, Vice-presidents Esteban Lazo and Carlos Lage, as well as Culture Minister Abel Prieto and other Cuban government leaders.

In his opening speech of the event, the president of the organizing committee, Miguel Barnet, dedicated the Congress to the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, to Fidel and Raul Castro.

Barnet praised the work of the organizing committee and recalled actor Sergio Corrieri, who headed the UNEAC and the process of analysis relevant to the country throughout the country, before his passing away earlier this year.

"Debates do not conclude at this point," said Barnet, and added that the Congress' accords and analyses will contribute to the renovation and maturity of the organization, to the finding of spaces for reflection and the further development of ethical values of Cuban society through arts and culture.

The report read by Barnet underscored the advancement made over the past decade following the accords of the Sixth Congress, though it also states shortcomings that affected the work of Cuban creators and their organization.

Due to the precarious situation faced during the 1990's the artists' organization experienced some commercialization practice which, although helped solve pressing problems, had a negative impact on the image of the organization and undermined its identity, the report read.

The document read by Barnet pointed out that during the aforedmentined period, inept and unprepared officials, who were not aware of the complex mechanisms of the artistic market gave way to a commercial activity very close to the buying and selling of visual and performing arts.

The report read before nearly 400 delegates to the Congress explains that there was a deliberate growth of the UNEAC membership that surpassed 8,400 artists, and in contrast, ratified the selective character of the process to accept new members of the organization.

The report covered all the work carried out by the Congress' organizing committee and its commissions during a year and proposed that the commissions continue to work and report twice a year to the National Concil to be elected in the current forum. The action would include priority working objectives, which will be at the center of discussions by the Congress during its four days of sessions.


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