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Cuba: Writers and artists remain threatened and imprisoned two months after protests

Thursday 16 September 2021 - 4:00pm

Cuba

In the two months since historic mass demonstrations swept through Cuba on July 11, drawing national and international attention to the island’s deteriorating sociopolitical conditions, there have been at least 39 documented arrests of artists related to the protests, four of whom were subjected to trial without a jury. At least 55 artists and writers are currently either under house arrest, imprisoned, or under investigation.

Cuba remains in a devastating social, cultural, health, economic, and political crisis. This crisis includes food shortages, power outages, and insufficient medical services to address the pandemic - all while officials continue to treat peaceful criticism of government policies as criminal behavior. In response to the crisis, thousands of Cubans took to the streets around the country demanding reforms.

Cuban authorities have responded with widespread repression of the protests, including police violence, digital censorship, and the passage of Decree-Law 35, which penalizes the publication of information critical of the government. At least one thousand arrests have been recorded, and countless others were temporarily disappeared or forced to go into hiding.

The undersigned organisations, representing authors, artists, human rights defenders, journalists, and intellectuals, urgently call on the government of Cuba to stop the systematic harassment of writers and artists; to immediately release all those who have been arbitrarily detained, arrested, or disappeared; and to respect freedom of expression and artistic freedom, rather than silencing creatives critical of government policies.

OPPRESSION IS NOT REVOLUTION

We urge that the Cuban government immediately release the following artists:

Didier Almagro

Ernesto Pacheco López

Hamlet Lavastida

Lázaro Rodríguez Betancourt (Pupito En Sy)

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara

Maykel Castillo Pérez (“Maykel Osorbo”)

Randy Arteaga Rivera

We also demand an end to police and judicial harassment, house arrests, and arbitrary detentions against the following artists, musicians, and writers, who remain under threat:

Abel Lescay

Adonis Milán

Alina Palmero

Amaury Pacheco

Aminta D’Cárdenas

Ángel Santiesteban

Anyelo Troya

AfriK3REINA

Camila Ramírez Lobón

Carlos González Acosta

Carolina Barrero

Chabelly Díaz

Claudia Genlui Hidalgo

Daniel Triana

David de Omni

Daisy Martínez

Denis Solís

Edel Carrero

Eliecer Márquez Duany (“El Funky”)

Enrique Alonso (Kike Stories)

Ever Fonseca

Fernando Ginarte Mora

Gerson Manuel Montero Soler

Gretel Medina Mendieta

Iris Mariño

Iris Ruiz

Javier Sánchez

Juan Carlos Saénz de la Calahorra

Julio Llópiz-Casal

Katherine Bisquet

Manuel de la Cruz

Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez Yong

María Matienzo

Mario Miguel García Piña

Mavel Alonso

Mijail Rodríguez

Milton Macdonald aka Black Bandanaz

Mityl Font

Omar Mena

Osvaldo Navarro (“Navy Pro”)

Ramón López Díaz (“El Invasor”)

Raúl Prado

Reiner Díaz Vega

Richard Adrián Zamora Brito (“El Radikal”)

Roberto Hidalgo Puentes “Yomil”

Solveig Font

Yasser Castellanos

Yunior García Aguilera

SIGNATORIES

1. Albanian PEN

2. Article 19, oficina para México y Centroamérica

3. Association Cubains en France pour Cuba Démocratique

4. Asociación Por Libertad de Prensa

5. Cadal

6. Club de las Letras, Nicaragua

7. Croatian PEN

8. Cubalex

9. Cuban Writers in Exile PEN Centre

10. Cubanos Canadienses por una Cuba Democrática

11. Danish PEN

12. English PEN

13. Fundamedios

14. Freemuse

15. Ghanaian PEN

16. German PEN

17. Irish PEN/PEN na hÉirean

18. IFEX ALC

19. International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights

20. PEN Afghanistan

21. PEN Afrikaans

22. PEN America

23. PEN Argentina

24. PEN Bangladesh

25. PEN Belarus

26. PEN Bolivia

27. PEN Canada

28. PEN Centre of Bosnia & Herzegovina

29. PEN Chiapas Pluricultural

30. PEN Chile

31. PEN Club de France

32. PEN Ecuador

33. PEN Eritrea

34. PEN Esperanto

35. PEN Haiti

36. PEN International

37. PEN Malta

38. PEN Melbourne

39. PEN Norway

40. PEN Nigeria

41. PEN Quebec

42. PEN Puerto Rico

43. PEN Romania

44. PEN Sierra Leone

45. PEN South Africa

46. PEN Turkey

47. PEN Venezuela

48. Perth PEN

49. San Miguel PEN

50. Sloven PEN

51. South India PEN Centre

52. Swedish PEN | Svenska PEN

53. Ugandan PEN

54. Vietnamese Abroad PEN Centre