Cuban Artists against Law 349 Sign New Manifesto

Yanelys Nunez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES – Why write up a Manifesto after a proliferation of articles that support the Cuban Artists against Decree-Law 349 campaign?

Aside from being a new project, writing up the “San Isidro Manifesto” has allowed us to see ourselves as a movement. It has given us a space to discuss our interests, and to establish a consensus about our aesthetic and political stance.

I believe that artists meeting and debating issues is something that we have needed for a long time now. The Manifesto is the first outcome of these meetings. Of course, it needs amendments, things added, but it is a display of our interest in debating and exchanging ideas.

I will leave you with just a fragment here. With the points that define this movement.
It’s important to note that the manifesto has two appendices: a report of the events that took place in the San Isidro neighborhood on August 11th and decree-law 349, which appears in the Official Gazette that was published on July 2018.

I- As humans, we are unique and independent individuals, and out of natural logic, we always will be.

II- As the artists and creators we are today, we want full independence in our work.

III- We understand “independent” in the arts to be complete separation of the artist and their work from any company, organization, institution of cultural policy which dictates dogmas and aims to shape our mission.

IV- We feel we have the absolute right to question our political and cultural institutions,
as, they are the ones who implement the regulations that restrict freedom of speech and

V- We declare ourselves to be free to seek and acquire funds to materialize our cultural projects, as we wish, without arbitration or any kind of conditions.

VI- We defend, participate in and encourage every kind of modern experimental artistic process and creative workshops that nourish and contribute towards non-traditional aesthetic freedoms.

VII- We reject the new figure of “Supervisor/Inspector”, not only because it establishes an authorized censor, but also because daily experience has proven that this figure of the “inspector” is the main agent of corruption in every sector of the country.

VIII- We consider ourselves to be a movement and, as such, a union, and so any attack
on one of us, is an attack against all of us, and we will know how to respond in order to make our rights to exist as creators known and to defend our interests as a group.

IX- We are determined to come together as a group to launch a series of socio-cultural actions as well as calls to the international community, to stop the imposition of a set of laws that attacks every Cuban.

X- Our objective, within the dialogue and civic attitude that we embody, is to request that the authorities revise the current Cultural Policy in force, their legal and institutional framework and the powers of their public servants, who interfere and restrict free and spontaneous
creation in any sector of our society.

For those that can read Spanish, here is the full manifesto.


Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.

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