Artists say Cuba government agrees to dialogue, tolerance

29 Novembre, 2020, 12:01 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Protesters in Madrid demand the freedom of Cuban activist and musician Denis Solis

The protest started with two dozen people in the morning but grew throughout the day.

Late on Thursday, authorities had broken up the hunger strike, meant to protest curbs on civil liberties, by evicting the participants and others from a house in the rundown San Isidro neighborhood of Old Havana where they had been staying. After members of the group protested an eight-month jail sentence for rapper Denis Solis for contempt, security forces besieged the San Isidro headquarters earlier this month, prompting some members and allies to go on strike. hunger.

Cuban authorities broke up a hunger strike against curbs on civil liberties, citing the threat of COVID-19 as they evicted the protesters from a house in the capital.

Two of them refused to go home and were arrested again: Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, 32, a plastics artist, and Anamely Ramos, 35.

"The way they were already treating them left us constantly uneasy, also like our own freedom was being threatened", said Yunior Garcia, an actor and one of the organizers of the stakeout. "But what happened yesterday was the straw that broke the camel's back". Some Cubans have reported that social media platforms in the country, where the state has a monopoly on telecommunications, were briefly shut down to prevent news of the raid from being broadcast online. They demanded "dialogue" and representatives were waiting to meet with vice minister Fernando Rojas after having gathered there for much of the day.

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The protesters included citizens who usually shy away from talking publicly about politics but felt emboldened to join after seeing images of the crowd on social media, underscoring how internet expansion in Cuba is making it harder for the government to contain dissent. Security and uniformed police watched the protest from a distance and mostly did not interfere.

"They are public officials of this country and this has become a political situation".

The artists have often used their performances to criticize the government.

Reacting to the incident on Friday, the Dutch and Czech governments and Amnesty International, as well as other rights groups, voiced their concern about human rights in Cuba. The government called the San Isidro Movement, as well as other dissidents, mercenaries directed by the USA to destabilize the country.

Amnesty International called for the release of the two members who were arrested Thursday, calling them "prisoners of conscience, imprisoned exclusively due to their consciously held beliefs". Human rights group Amnesty International and other rights groups also shared their worries.

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