This Week: D.C. Screening of "CUBAMERICAN"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Czech Embassy hosts evening of Cuban American film and discussion March 19

The Czech Embassy will screen excerpts of "CUBAMERICAN", about Cuban exiles' struggle for freedom and success in the United States, and will host a discussion and reception on March 19.

Cuba Democracy Advocates executive director Mauricio Claver-Carone will moderate the discussion between the film's writer-producer-director José Enrique Pardo and Cuban blogger-photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.

The film (here's the trailer) explores the Cuban Revolution's sparking an exodus, and the exiles’ struggle for freedom and success in the United States.

Pardo says of his film, "My father’s death prompted me to look back at my life. I experienced a profound feeling of gratitude to him for getting me out of Communist Cuba and bringing me to the United States, where I had lived free to express myself and choose my own path in life. I imagined a kinship with all other Cuban-Americans of my generation who had grown up in the USA. I set out to investigate their journeys and integrate them with mine."

Spanning the last 60 years, "CUBAMERICAN" is a "pro-immigrant story that highlights the absolute need for all of the world's people to be able to freely exercise their fundamental human rights."

The former Czechoslovakia was under a Communist regime for more than four decades until the "Velvet Revolution" in late 1989. Human rights activist and writer Vaclav Havel, who had led the negotiations with the communist government, was elected President in 1990. The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic became separate nations on Jan. 1, 1993.

Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovic told me, "More than 40 years under totalitarian rule has been a painful part of the Czech Republic's recent history. We remember well what it means to be deprived of basic civil rights such as the right to express one's opinion and the right to peaceful assembly. We consider it unacceptable that in some places, including Cuba, people can still be imprisoned for exercising these basic rights. That's why we made a strong commitment long ago to support people in Cuba in their striving for democracy and freedom. Since then, the Czech Republic's policy towards Cuba, whether bilateral or as part of the EU, has been based on this fundamental principle."

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008. RSVP to Please put “CUBAMERICAN” in the subject line.