HAVANA, Oct. 30. The Cuban Institute of Music (ICM) reported the closure of the Maxim Rock Cultural Center in Havana after the celebration of a Halloween partyon Saturday night that awarded the costume of a Nazi soldier.
A note published on the ICM Facebook page noted that “the event aroused the indignation of several people who expressed their repudiation of such a despicable event, both on social networks and through direct complaints made to government officials.”
“Given the seriousness of the event and the evidence of the cultural institution’s inability to foresee it, the decision was made to immediately close the Maxim Rock Cultural Center, until the facts are clarified, the corresponding analyses are carried out, and take disciplinary measures with each of those responsible for the event, which, in addition to constituting a violation of the directives for cultural programming, once again puts on the table the issue of the dangers of cultural colonization,” the official text added.
The ICM accused the administrators of the closed center of promoting “regrettable incidents” that “flagrantly violate the cultural policy” of the regime, “violate the morals and principles on which the Cuban social project is founded and hurt the anti-fascist, anti-racist citizen sensitivity and anti-Zionist.”
He added that events such as those that occurred deserve “full repudiation” and “will receive the most energetic response from the institutional system of Culture.”
“At the same time, we ratify the commitment of our institution to the promotion of all genres of music, particularly rock. Its promoters and its public, we are sure, will repudiate this fact,” said the official text.
According to the Cubadebate portal, the decision to close Maxim Rock “is not an attack on the celebration of Halloween in Cuba.”
“We believe that there is no way to prohibit or stop this practice. But it is a call for correction, attention and political work so that this celebration does not include costumes like this. Neither in state institutions nor in private ones,” wrote the author of the text.
“Applauding and rewarding a costume of a figure responsible for the mass genocide of millions of human beings puts us in front of a worse problem that goes beyond the event and has to do with education, the teaching of history and the formation of values in the new generations.
In Germany and other countries around the world, these forms of representation have legal consequences. In Cuba, measures of this type should be taken, because every year this painful situation is exacerbated,” he said.
In October 2022, amid Halloween celebrations, an alleged prank by young Cubans dressed up in Ku Klux Klan hoods and asking “Where are the black people?”
It provoked outrage on social networks and was taken advantage of by government authorities and intellectuals, who described what happened as “racism” and “cultural colonialism.”
The Halloween party has been inserted in Cuba among the young population and has been celebrated for some years with more force in the circles of greater purchasing power on the Island.
Sandro Castro, grandson of Fidel Castro, entrepreneur and owner of famous night establishments in Havana, has promoted these celebrations in its businesses with all the paraphernalia that entails.
In 2017, the official magazine La Jiribilla attacked the celebration in the name of customs, cultural traditions and religious practices that after 1959 were silenced, made invisible, persecuted, and censored.
Later, former Minister of Culture Abel Prieto made a similar statement in an article in Granma in which he complained about the rebirth in Cuba of the “identification between the Yankee and the modern,” about the use of US symbols to attract.