First Vice President Díaz-Canel at presidió el Consejo Nacional de la Uneac. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

The Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) National Council met yesterday, May 10, in the Museum of Fine Arts' Cuban Art Building, with the participation of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and Minister of Culture Abel Prieto, among other leaders. This was the first such gathering of 2017, and the fifth held during this leadership body's term.

The meeting provided an opportunity to debate a report by UNEAC President Miguel Barnet outlining the direction being taken, and challenges faced, by the organization which is playing a critical role in the updating and implementation of Cuba's cultural policy.

After a full discussion on the weaknesses and strengths of UNEAC's work around the country, Díaz-Canel addressed the National Council members.

He acknowledged that the organization has been working systematically to implement decisions made at its 8th Congress, noting that the commissions charged with follow-up "have been working actively and addressing the main issues predominating today in the ideological and cultural field."

He emphasized two key elements of UNEAC's work, "As I see it, these elements are the adequate functioning of our cultural institutions. If there is not adequate functioning, the institutions deteriorate and make it very difficult for UNEAC to then play its role.

"The other element within this functioning is the contribution that the artistic vanguard can make," he said.