Ariel Hidalgo

Date: Unknown - Present

Region: Central America and the Caribbean

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature

Artist: Ariel Hidalgo

Confronting Bodies: Cuban government under Fidel Castro

Dates of Action: 1980-88

Location: Cuba

Description of Artwork: The manuscript Cuba, the Marxist State and the New Class is a document describing the political situation in Cuba. It was never published, however, Hidalgo intended for it to be sent abroad and circulated throughout Cuban exile communities.

The Incident: In 1980, secret agents searching Hidalgo's home found a manuscript entitled "Cuba, the Marxist State and the New Class". They did not approve of its "counter-revolutionary" contents and the high school teacher was arrested and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. He was placed in La Cabana prison in the death row section where he spent a year and twenty days in an unlit cell, barely big enough for his body, hearing the screams of others being tortured. He served the remainder of his term in the political prisoners' section.

Results of Incident: Hidalgo was released in 1988. He now resides in Miami, Florida where he has set up a Cuban human rights information center.

Source: "Castro's Final Hour", Andres Oppenheimer