Photo exhibit documents Cuban families torn apart


On July 16, a photo exhibit will open in Minneapolis that reveals the human impact of the Bush administration’s rules that impede contact between Cuban Americans and their relatives in Cuba. Entitled Love, Loss, and Longing: The Impact of U.S. Travel Policy on Cuban-American Families, the photos and accompanying text showcase the situations of 20 Cuban Americans who can no longer visit relatives on the island. (Four of the 20 subjects are from the Washington area.)

Ironically, while President Bush has touted family rights as one of the main tenets of his administration, U.S officials have increasingly restricted contact between Cuban Americans and their relatives in Cuba.

Since 2004, Cuban Americans have been subjected to a series of inhumane and hypocritical U.S. regulations. In order to travel to Cuba, Cuban Americans must first apply for a license from the U.S. Treasury Department. This license allows them to see family once every three years, with no exceptions for emergency situations. In addition, the U.S.-drawn regulations redefine the word “family” to mean only immediate relatives. Aunts and uncles, godparents, nieces and nephews, and cousins need not apply.

The result is the loss and the longing chronicled in this photography exhibit.

After several weeks at the Arlington Arts Center, the exhibit will tour nationally through the end of 2007.

The exhibit features photographs of Cuban Americans who have been adversely affected by U.S. travel policy, some who will be present at each of the two receptions. Each photograph in the exhibit is accompanied by a 250 word narrative – in English and Spanish — that describes the impact of the restrictions on these individuals and their families.

Photos by Cuban-American photographers/artists Nestor Hernández, Jr. and Juan-Sí González. Text by Drs. Jeanne Lemkau and David Strug. Organized by the Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

The exhibit will be open for viewing through July 30, after the opening reception on July 16th, to be held from 5 to 9 p.m. There will also be a special reception on Wednesday July 26th from 5 to 9 p.m.

Sunday July 16, 5 – 9 p.m.
Victor’s 1959 Café
3756 Grand Ave South

Viewing Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday: 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sundays: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. / Closed Mondays