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“The List I’m On Is Getting Darker”: Regime Censors Presentation by Ulises Toirac

Cultural censorship in Cuba is targeting comedian Ulises Toirac, also known as the mythical Chivichana, as a form of retaliation for his criticism of certain artists on social media. Toirac was recently prevented from participating in a stand-up comedy show at the Bertolt Brecht Theater in Havana, which he announced on his Facebook profile.

According to Toirac, he was coordinating an act for a humorous group at the theater when he was informed that he could not perform. Despite not being given a clear reason for the censorship, Toirac believes it is part of a larger effort to silence his dissenting views on Cuban society.

Support for Toirac poured in from his fans and colleagues in the entertainment industry. The artistic director of musical shows, Raúl de la Rosa, expressed concern for Toirac’s livelihood and criticized the unequal treatment of artists who choose to stay in Cuba versus those who leave and return without consequence.

Other social media users also lamented the censorship of Toirac and pointed out the underlying issues within the Cuban cultural scene, where dissenting voices are often stifled or ignored. Ramón Fernández Larrea, a writer and contributor to DIARIO DE CUBA, questioned the lack of transparency in the censorship process and Toirac responded with frustration at the authorities’ vague justifications.

This is not the first time Toirac has faced censorship from the Cuban regime due to his outspoken views. In September 2023, he revealed that two of his shows were canceled by authorities just because his name was in the lineup. Despite the challenges he faces, Toirac remains committed to speaking out against injustice and expressing his opinions, even as his voice is increasingly marginalized by censorship.

In light of the economic hardships facing many Cubans and the lack of prospects for positive change, Toirac remains dedicated to sharing his perspective and supporting those who choose to speak out or remain silent. While he may not be a revolutionary activist, Toirac believes in the power of honest dialogue and the importance of preserving individual voices in a society that seeks to silence dissent.

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