From Herald Wire Services
HAVANA -- Alfredo Guevara, a leading figure in Cuban culture,
resigned his post
as head of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industry (ICAIC), to
take up ``international tasks related to culture,'' the Cuban government announced
A two-paragraph note in the Communist Party daily Granma said
Guevara's request, President Fidel Castro ``has relieved him of his duties.''
Replacing Guevara, 74, will be poet Omar Gonzalez, president of
the Cuban Book
Institute. Gonzalez, in turn, will be replaced by Iroel Sanchez Espinoza, director
of the Abril publishing house.
At a press conference, Guevara said he is resigning to engage
in ``activities of a
practical and intellectual nature. I need to express myself and find ways to tell my
He said he is working on a book and several other literary projects
history of the Cuban Revolution.
Among the first well-known Cuban intellectuals to embrace socialism
1959 revolution, Guevara was a defender of the country's artists who criticized
Cuban society while still remaining respectful of its Communist system.
Guantanamera, a 1995 Cuban film that poked fun at the absurdities
suffered by a
family arranging a relative's funeral, typified that philosophy. The film was
criticized three years later in a lengthy speech by Castro.
Guevara was president of ICAIC for 22 years after the institute's
creation in 1959
but left to serve as Cuba's delegate to UNESCO for 10 years. Then Castro
summoned him back to ICAIC's helm for the next nine years.
Copyright 2000 Miami Herald