Maria Elena Cruz Varela (poet)

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Date: 1953 - Present

Region: Central America and the Caribbean

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature

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Artist: Maria Elena Cruz Varela

Confronting Bodies: Cuban government under Fidel Castro

Dates of Action: November 19, 1991

Location: Cuba

Description of Artwork: Cruz Varela is a poet and human rights activist who is a leader of a Cuban democratic coalition called Criterio Alternativo, a known group of anti-Castro intellectuals.

The Incident: She was imprisoned for 18 months between 1991 and 1993 and then held under house arrest before going into exile in 1994.

Results of Incident: She now lives in Spain where she continues to write and teach.

Source: Human Rights Watch/Americas Watch, and PEN international