Washington D.C., April 4, 2023 – “I have two homelands: Cuba and the night, or are they one and the same?” With this excerpt from one of Cuban politician José Martí’s best-known poems, begins the documentary: Dos Patrias, a production of the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) and La Tiorba Productions, which reflects on human rights violations in Cuba.
The 70-minute film was presented publicly in mid-March at Florida International University (FIU), in the city of Miami (USA), and reveals images and testimonies of people who have suffered repression by Cuban authorities.
“The documentary ‘Two Homelands’ deals with the experiences of three activists: Eduardo Cardet, Xiomara Cruz and Aymara Nieto, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for her critical stance against the Cuban government. Their struggles reflect the struggles of many people on the island who have been and are being harassed and their rights violated for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and peaceful protest,” says Carlos Quesada, Executive Director of Race and Equality.
The film, which will be presented at the end of April in Brussels, Belgium, details how these three people have lost their freedom for demanding that Cuba be free, which for the director and producer of Dos Patrias, Hilda Hidalgo Xirinachs, “is an irresolvable paradox”.
“During the research for this production I discovered that Xiomara was in prison 1215 days, Eduardo 1095, and Aymara has been in jail for more than 1600 days. This, and in general the whole process of making this documentary was stark for me,” says Hidalgo, a Costa Rican who also studied film on the island.
With the documentary Dos Patrias, Race and Equality denounces that Cuban authorities ignore the fundamental rights of people living on the island, and shows that activists, human rights defenders, artists, and independent journalists are victims of state repression. We demand that the government of this country cease all forms of violence against critical and dissident voices, and that those deprived of their liberty for political reasons be released immediately.