By James Thompson

HOUSTON – “From my altitude”, a touring art exhibit opened in Houston on June 4, 2011. It was enthusiastically received by an amazed group of about 50 Houstonians at the East End Studio Gallery/Houston Institute for Culture located at 708c Telephone Road. The art was stunning and was very well presented.

The art was by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban 5, who is currently imprisoned in a federal facility in Colorado. The Cuban 5 are a group of five heroes who put their lives on the line to fight terrorism. They were sent to the U.S. to infiltrate the right wing terrorists in Miami who are responsible for many acts of terrorism including the bombing of a Cuban airliner which resulted in the death of the entire Cuban fencing team as well as terrorist acts against tourists in Havana. The information these patriots provided to the Cuban government enabled the Cubans to thwart some of the vicious attacks on their homeland.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government chose to apprehend these five heroes and they are now placed in federal prisons around the U.S. They have been subjected to cruel and harsh treatment throughout their imprisonment including long periods of solitary confinement.

Antonio Guerrero, who never produced any art prior to his imprisonment, was taught art by his cellmate, an African American. As a result, he completed the thirty paintings which make up the exhibition.
The paintings portray Che Guevara and Fidel Castro as well as portraits of the mothers of the Cuban 5. There are two smaller paintings of the Colorado mountains that symbolize the restricted view of the artist from his prison cell, but nevertheless reflect his perception of the beauty of the mountains in spite of the ugliness of the prison.

Portraits of the mothers of the Cuban 5, by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban 5

The program included beautiful Cuban music, speakers about the Cuban 5 and the Cuba Caravan which will be coming to Houston on July 16. Participants were also treated to a mime performance which dramatized the plight of the Cuban 5.

The exhibit will proceed to San Antonio and Dallas after it closes in Houston.

Portrait of Fidel Castro by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban 5