The U.S. artist Ben Jones has criticized the stance taken by President Donald Trump against strengthening relations between his country and Cuba, where he is holding a personal exhibition.
Most Americans do not think like him, noted the artist, who arrived in this capital recently to exhibit a series of artworks at the National Museum of Fine Arts from July 21 to October 23.
Jones is worried that many of Trump’s voters are very racist, barely care about the environment, are mainly interested in money and do not want to admit that the world has changed.
Several doors between the United States and Cuba have opened since the Barack Obama administration, most people in my country want to come for a visit and many of those who already came want to return, he said in an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina.
I always advise everybody to go to Cuba to have their own opinion about the country, said Jones, who feels Cuban, due to his many trips to the island nation since 1977.
The African root is a common element between the peoples of the United States and Cuba, but racial discrimination in his homeland sometimes reaches the highest level of violence, the assassination of innocent civilians.
Over the past few years, a series of incidents with police officers have brought grieve to more than one African-American family. Jones denounces and questions that situation from his art, loyal to his generation, a protagonist of the struggle for civil rights in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.
Jones grew up in the period of the Vietnam War, Black Power and the Black Panthers, whose ideas led to the Black Arts Movement, from which he emerged as one of its major artists.
Icons of U.S. culture like the singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday and Sarah Vaughan, and the African-American activists Malcolm X and Fannie Lou, appear in Jones’s artworks.
He recalled that Fitzgerald, Holliday and Vaughan, despite being the stars in the shows, had to enter the hotels through the back door.
In his opinion, many police officers today have problems in Latino and African-American neighborhoods because they were soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and are patrolling the streets of the United States with their nerves on edge, as if they have not returned from that Asian country yet.
In addition to the traumas caused by violence: racial, gender-based, warmongering, among others, Jones’s exhibition in Cuba, entitled ‘Resistance’, deals about several environmental problems like oil spills in the oceans, which have harmful consequences for all human beings.