Cuba’s San Isidro Movement Remains Active

The campaign of the San Isidro Movement to assist the many prisoners taken after the July 11th protests.

HAVANA TIMES – The San Isidro Movement (MSI) has announced the creation of a Help Network: #dondetucaesyotelevanto, in alliance with Cuban civil society organizations and activists. The Network is designed to provide support to relatives of those detained in the July 11 demonstrations.

“We won’t allow the Cuban State to also monopolize solidarity, we can and need to organize among ourselves and function for the good of all”; says the text posted on the MSI page.

The aftermath of the repression of July 11th, is a long list of detainees, and hundreds of relatives who suffer the vicissitudes that these arrests generate: childcare, hiring of lawyers, visits to police stations, uncertainty, etc.

The shortage of basic food products and medicines in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic further complicates the situation. For that reason, the Network seeks to “help with the expenses to cover the needs of the detainees.”

Several members of the MSI have suffered harassment, discrediting and arbitrary arrests.

At the beginning of July, rapper Denis Solis was finally released from jail after serving eight months. His arbitrary arrest and judicial process without guarantees lit a flame of solidarity among Cuban artists and internationally.

Months earlier, in April, the police and some military doctors broke into the home / workshop of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, where he was on a hunger and thirst strike. Otero, whose Havana home is the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement, demanded the end of the police siege to which he had been subjected for months and the return of his art works stolen by State Security. The artist was forcibly admitted to the Calixto Garcia hospital, where even his close friends were denied access. He was kept there incommunicado for a month.

Another member of the MSI, the independent journalist Esteban Rodriguez, tried to get to the hospital and was arrested on Obispo Street along with other protesters who asked to see Luis Manuel and who are now facing jail and heavy charges.

Also, rapper Maykel Castillo, after several days of harassment and surveillance, was forcibly detained at his house while he was having lunch. He was missing for several days until he was allowed to make a call. He is in the Cinco y Medio maximum security prison, in Pinar del Rio, under investigation, and they want to prosecute him for assault, resistance and contempt.

On July 11, when hundreds of people in several cities took to the streets to protest peacefully, Otero expressed emotion in a direct statement that he was heading towards the Havana Malecon to join the demonstrations. Later it was learned that he was arrested on the way, taken to the Vivac penitentiary and finally to a maximum-security prison in Guanajay. He is also being investigated for the crimes of assault, resistance and contempt.

The government has taken advantage of the nationwide protests to imprison activists, opponents and artists who were actively critical of its policies and leaders.

Read more about the Aid Network here on the Facebook page of the San Isidro Movement.

For more from Cuba click here on Havana Times.