Cuban artists say authorities agree to talks after protests

Cuban artists say authorities agree to talks after protests
Cuban artists say authorities agree to talks after protests

More than two dozen Cuban protesters met Deputy Minister of Cuba, Fernando Rojas after hundreds of people demonstrated this week in Havana protesting against the detention of artists and activists and curbs to freedom of expression.

Artistic freedom and human rights groups in Cuba raised concerns regarding the curbs to civil liberties and the detention of Denis Solis Gonzalez, a Cuban rapper which gave rise to a rally outside the culture ministry of Cuba.

On Saturday, the protesters said that the Cuban Government agreed to review Gonzalez’s case and a series of meetings.

Michel Matos, activist and music promoter who took part in the meeting with Rojas said that it is a special flame which ignited there.

Matos said that they talked about freedom of association, freedom of expression, censorship and physical repression.

Matos added that there was dialogue like this did not happen in Cuba in 60 years.

On November 9, Gonzalez was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison for “contempt” after he insulted a police officer.

However, Amnesty International said that the charge was not in line with standards of international human rights.

Freemuse, an NGO which advocates for artistic expression around the world, said that the rapper, who is still in jail, could not contact his family till November 18.

Didier Almagro, a musician, sentenced to three years in prison, was also condemned by the group.

Almagro was sentenced on November 13 on charges of contempt of court and public disorder for participating in a demonstration against power cuts.

Freemuse campaigns and advocacy manager, Sverre Pedersen, said that the arrests and sentences violate the “basic human right to freedom of expression” of the artists and they also breach the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It is noteworthy that Cuba is a signatory UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.