Monday, May 03, 2004

My daily vocation as a suicide - by Sandra RamosSandra Ramos, one of the leading Cuban artists in the world, and whose American debut takes place at Fraser Gallery Georgetown this coming May 21, made the national news recently when she had her visiting visa denied to attend her solo show opening reception.

And now Ramos has enlisted a powerful friend in her effort to get a chance to attend her American gallery debut: Senator Paul Sarbanes from Maryland.

In a letter to the gallery, Senator Sarbanes directed the gallery to request that Ramos apply again for a visitor's visa and Sarbanes wrote: "If Ms. Ramos is willing to reapply, I will be pleased to provide a letter in support of her application by email to the Consulate on her behalf."

The US Department of State has been denying visiting visas to Cuban artists since the beginning of the year. Ramos is considered by many to be the leading Cuban artist of her generation and has previously visited the US many times. Her work, which deals with many taboo issues of Cuban society and government, is in the collection of several American museums, including MOMA in New York and MFA in Boston.