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Cuban artists receive a promise of dialogue from the authorities after an unprecedented protest

2020-11-30T00:16:46.480Z

About thirty participants in the protest met for a few hours with the vice minister of culture. Some of the dissident artists, however, criticized the agreements reached.



An unusual protest led by more

than 200 Cuban artists and activists

concluded with a meeting held between Friday night and Saturday morning between some of them and the vice minister of culture of the island's Government, Fernando Rojas, in which this He promised to "continue talking" with them.

The protesters were protesting in particular the

imprisonment of rapper Denis Solís

and, in general, to demand

freedom of expression

from a government that, they accuse, is often intolerant of dissent.

Solis was arrested last November 9 and sentenced to

eight months in prison

, charged with contempt for insulting a policeman during a dispute.

[A police officer shot him in the back: indignation and a wave of repression in Cuba after the murder of a young black man]

For several of the participants, the act of

protest

and

the ensuing meeting

- which lasted more than four hours - represented a

historic moment.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera (center) participates in a meeting in front of the Ministry of Culture to show her solidarity with dissident artists and demand a dialogue on the limits of freedom of expression, in Havana, Cuba, on November 27 2020.REUTERS

Producer Michel Matos, who was present at the negotiations, called Friday's events

"tremendous"

on Saturday at a virtual press conference

, according to NBC News, Telemundo's sister network.

He said protesters "told the truth" and officials listened "very quietly."

Recognized figures such as the internationally renowned artist

Tania Bruguera

, the actor

Jorge Perugurría

(

Strawberry and Chocolate

) and the director Fernando Pérez (

La Vida es Silbar

or

Last Days in Havana

) were present at the protest and were some of those who spoke with the functionaries.

[The end of remittances from the United States to Cuba hardens isolation]

Rojas confirmed on Saturday on Cuban official television the

commitment of the Ministry of Culture to open a dialogue with creators.

He defined this attitude as "an expression of goodwill" on the part of the institution.

"We committed ourselves to work on a multilateral agenda on the relations, work and commitment of the (official) institutions with the artists," he said. "It was a difficult discussion, it was not complacent, but there was no verbal violence," insisted the vice Minister.

Others, on the other hand, expressed dissatisfaction with the negotiations with the Government, including several members of the San Isidro Movement.

For them, sitting down to agree with the Government without a concrete achievement has been a

"betrayal"

and not a victory as claimed by almost all those gathered in the Ministry of Culture.

Eta leaves overflowing rivers and obstructed roads as it passes through central Cuba

Nov. 9, 202000: 20

The protest came after

the authorities dissolved on Thursday night a group of 14 artists, academics and independent journalists

who had been meeting for days in a house in central Havana.

Six of them were on

hunger strike

.

The 14 activists are part of a larger group known as

the San Isidro Movement (MSI).

In Miami, dozens of protesters demanded the release of Cuban rapper Solis on Saturday.

With sunflowers in their hands, Cuban and American flags and a T-shirt with the initials MSI, they gathered in front of the iconic Versailles restaurant on Calle Ocho.

[Alejandro Mayorkas, from political refugee to protector of immigrants as a DHS nominee]

Among the people who demanded the rapper's freedom were activist Ramón Saúl Sánchez, leader of the Democracy Movement;

commissioners (councilors) Joe Carollo and Manolo Reyes, various "influencers" of social networks, the leader of Cuba Decide, Rosa María Payá, and the graffiti artist known as El Sexto, reported the local television AméricaTevé.

With information from NBC News, EFE, AP.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2020-11-30

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