14ymedio, Havana, 18 November 2020 — A total of nine people, including artists, activists and independent journalists, have been on hunger strike since Wednesday afternoon at the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement (MSI) in Havana to demand the freedom of Denis Solís.
The strikers are Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Esteban Rodríguez, Maykel Castillo, Humberto Mena, Iliana Hernández, Yasser Castellanos, Adrián Rubio, Oscar Casanella and Osmani Pardo. “We hold the Cuban State responsible for the physical integrity of all these people. We demand the freedom of Denis Solís,” they detail in a statement.
The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara added to the announcement that he is also on thirst and silence strike. “Denis Solís is the only one who can talk to me. I don’t want another brother of mine to suffer. Excuse me, my friends and family. (…) I don’t want anyone to convince me of anything. I’m not going to communicate with anyone. Only if Denis Solís knocks on my door,” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook.
In the house, located in Old Havana, there are also Anamely Ramos, Katherine Bisquet, Omara Ruiz Urquiola, Jorge Luis Capote and Niovel Abu Alexander Tamayom, who called for another poetry reading like the one carried out last Tuesday, to which voices from inside and outside of Cuba joined in.
All are under siege by State Security officials and the police cordon has left them isolated. “At this moment they have just intercepted our neighbor Daily, who was bringing us the supplies of food and money. They took away everything she was preparing to bring us,” they denounced.
Since Monday, the MSI headquarters has been under surveillance by the police and State Security. This Wednesday the streets near the house were surrounded with yellow tape from the morning but then it was removed and the agents left the area.
“The agents withdrew or rather hid, following their petty nature. Days watching our every move and now that things are getting ugly they leave us alone, apparently. This is how we have felt for a long time in Cuba, alone,” the art curator Anamely Ramos wrote on her social networks. She was one of those arrested on several occasions in recent days.
And she added: “But we are not alone. We are already dreaming and building the Cuba of the present and the future, without two-facedness, without people hiding. That we protest, many on hunger strike or hunger and thirst, does not mean that we advocate for death. We will always advocate for Life.”
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