Yanelys Nunez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES – Some people would think that we should be used to it by now. How many times have you read on social media or digital magazines about the arrests of Luis Manuel, Amaury, Iris, Lia, Adonis, Soandry, Michel, Yasser, to name a few artists and producers, in less than two years?
Other people would think that is normal if you insist on standing up to the government. And of course, there will be people who just keep quiet, or pretend that they don’t know about these arrests.
However, being arrested isn’t an achievement in my opinion. It’s an extremely annoying, traumatic and exhausting experience.
Plus, every time it happens, a feeling of powerlessness grows within you, as you bitterly verify that State Security have complete impunity to act as arbitrarily as they want. And while many governments are dismayed by the situation of political prisoners in Nicaragua and Venezuela, what is happening in Cuba only seems to be a little sad.
Why were we arrested this time?
Well, for trying to meditate in a public space.
Yep, anyone might think it sounds ridiculous. But, for us, it’s another link in this chain of repression that the Cuban government is enforcing on anyone who questions them.
As part of our actions against decree 349 which began on July 21st, the group of artists, producers and activists, who signed the San Isidro Manifesto, had agreed to meet on 23rd and G streets, in Vedado, to hold a meditation session for Art’s wellbeing and freedom of speech.
Amidst hunger strikes by Cuban artists Maykel Obsorbo and Pupito, absolute silence on the Ministry of Culture’s behalf with regard to the implementation of Decree 349 on December 7th, and the absence of any response to our interest in sitting down with the cultural authorities, we came up with this initiative to join our energies, to speak with the cosmos and ask for help from all of the universe’s forces.
However, this isn’t possible right now in Cuba.
According to what Lieutenant Colonel Kenia Maria told me, who I personally met this time: “meditation at home”.
What other options do we have?
For now, just coming back to humid, dark and dirty cells which we have to share with mad people and criminals. That’s the only thing that you get in Cuba when you want to live using your common sense.
 An interesting fact about the cell I was in: there was a great number of texts on its walls which called for the government and Revolution’s collapse. There were also many demands for freedom in Cuba.