Repression in Cuba extends to independent artists

Correspondent in Havana



A wave of violent police operations is the response of the Cuban regime to the claim of a group of independent artists who demand the release of Denis Solís González, a young musician sentenced to prison for an alleged crime of Desacato.

Member of the San Isidro Movement, Solís González is currently in the Valle Grande prison after a summary trial, held just three days after his arrest on November 9, imposed the sanction of eight months of deprivation of liberty.

The harassment and persecution against Solís González is a consequence of the rebellious speech that permeates his music, his activism on social media and your political position against the Havana regime. He was among the group of independent artists and activists arrested on October 10, when they went to the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement and were victims of an act of repudiation and violent police arrests.

Without a court order through and without the artist’s consent, on November 7 an officer of the National Police violated his home. The event, broadcast live from his Facebook account, sparked an argument between the two and finally Solís González managed to expel the policeman, who later accused him of contempt.

As a result of this event, members of the San Isidro Movement, Independent journalists and activists mobilized to demonstrate peacefully and demand their immediate release. As the only response, they received an escalation of arrests and beatings reported through social networks and the independent press.

In an online evening organized this Tuesday by members of the Libertad Cuba Lab group – which is part of another group of Cuban artists and independent journalists from the island and the diaspora – the members of the San Isidro Movement confirmed that they were under siege, at their headquarters located in Old Havana, of elements of the State Security and members of the National Police who prevent him from leaving the premises to demonstrate for the release of Solís González.

The San Isidro Movement has been the most violently repressed and harassed group of independent artists on the island. Several of its members have previously suffered violent beatings, arrests and even jail, such as the cases of the plastic artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and rapper Maikel Pérez Castillo.

Campaigns against decrees 349 and 370

“By independent in the arts we understand a complete separation of the artist and his work from any company, organization, institution, or cultural policy that dictates dogmas and seeks to shape our mission”, is one of the lines that define the San Isidro Movement, a collective that It has carried out campaigns against Decrees 349 and 370, which restrict freedom of expression and of the press.

Not a few human rights activists and independent journalists also denounced the silence of the foreign press accredited in Cuba, given this escalation of violent repression against independent artists on the island. They also recalled that the Cuban regime occupies, for the sixth time, a seat in the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, while disrespecting all the letters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the International Covenants of Civil and Political Rights and Economic Rights.

Cuban cultural policy was decreed since June 1961, when Fidel Castro He defined in that speech at the José Martí National Library, known as “Words to the intellectuals,” the destinies of Cuba in one sentence: “within the Revolution everything; against the Revolution nothing ».

The imprisonment of Denis Solís González, as well as the violent repression against members of the San Isidro Movement, is the continuity of a cultural policy based exclusively on transmission mechanisms of ideological and political control.

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