Information on a human rights group named Asociación Pro Arte Libre (APAL), alledgely created by professional artists [CUB23342.E]

The following information was provided in a 28 March 1996 telephone interview with a Cuban artist living in Ottawa who is presently a member of the National Association of Cuban Canadians, but was living in Cuba until 1992. The source stated that the Asociación Pro Arte Libre (APAL) is known to him, and is a well-known organization of artists involved in peaceful oppostion to the Cuban government. Membership of APAL consists of artists, writers, painters, dancers and actors. The source added that he is not a member of APAL, nor has he been affiliated to this organization.The source claims that members of APAL are harassed because their opinions are critical of the state and their artworks are considered by the present government to be against the laws and principles of the socialist system. The organization was formed in 1989 by a group of young artists whose works criticized the government. Since then, the movement has broadened and strengthened to become an opposition group that pressures the government to create democracy and freedom of expression for artists and society. According to the source, the government does not recognize APAL or its activities to be legal.

Please consult the attachments for articles that document the activities of APAL and how members have been treated by the authorities from 11 July 1990 to 28 February 1996.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


National Association of Cuban Canadians, Ottawa. 28 March 1996. Telephone interview with member.


Agence France Presse. 17 October 1991. "Three Cuban Dissidents Sentenced to Prison for Clandestine Publishing." (NEXIS)

Amnesty International. 27 November 1991. Urgent Action: Cuba: Prisoners of Conscience/Legal Concern. (AI Index: AMR 25/25/91). London: Amnesty International.

_____. December 1990. Cuba: The Human Rights Situation. .(AI Index: AMR 25/07/90). London: Amnesty International, pp. 18-19.

BBC Summary. 17 October 1991. "Ten Cuban 'Dissidents' Reportedly To Be Tried Soon." (NEXIS)

The Boston Globe. 28 February 1996. City Edition. Steve Fainaru. "Cuba Hits Dissidents Before Air Explode; Wide Impact Seen To Crackdown." (NEXIS)

The Chicago Sun-Times. 23 April 1992. Five Star Sports Final Edition. "U.S. Calls On Cuba to Free Activists." (NEXIS)

Latin American Regional Reports: Caribbean [London]. 30 August 1990. "Cuba: Politics and Diplomacy: Making Headlines over Refugees." (NEXIS)

Latin American Weekly Report 26 July 1990. "Eastern European Trends Finally Reach Cuba, but Take a Few Kinks Enroute." (NEXIS)

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune. 11 July 1990. Three Star Edition. "7 Cubans Take Refuge in Embassy." (NEXIS)

The Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale]. 14 August 1994. Sunday Sports Final Edition. Don Melvin. "Cubans Losing Their Fear of Casto; Long-Quiet People Venting Their Anger." (NEXIS)

The Times. 11 July 1990. Alan Tomlinson. "Cubans Appeal for Czech Asylum." (NEXIS)

United Nations. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights. 24 January 1994. (E/CN.4/1994/51). Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, Prepared by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Carl-Johan Groth, in Accordance With Commission Resolution 1993/63. p. 17

_____. 12 January 1993. (E/CN.4/1993/24). Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. pp. 56-57. (UNHCR/RefWorld database)