14ymedio, Havana, 10 March 2022 — Art curator Anamely Ramos announced this Wednesday that she is no longer a member of the San Isidro Movement (MSI), the opposition group founded by artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and a dozen other artists.
In a long post on her Facebook wall, Ramos emphasizes that her decision “is not due to the national dialogue project,” referring to the initiative launched by the MSI a year ago to convene all the actors of Cuban society, a new stage of which has been announced this week. This has opened a deep debate between those who reject any rapprochement with the regime and others who understand that it is a dialogue between activists and opposition groups.
“Luis himself explained the project to me when the call was launched back in February 2021 and I know that it was not about any dialogue with the Government of Cuba,” explains the activist. “However, I think there are discussions that are stillborn, precisely because they involve hijacked words (such as dialogue right now).”
On this issue, she confesses: “I am tired of waking up in the morning and having hundreds of messages asking me about something in which I have not participated actively and that I do not have to explain if there are others who can and should do it better than me. “.
“I know that many will begin to tell me that unity must be achieved and that the only thing this does is divide,” she argues. “Unity is not and cannot be an a priori, when unity is not built and cultivated attached to reality, it is a trap. The dictatorship was built, in fact, on a certain unity. I bet more on the plural even if the path is longer. And on assuming personal dignity with responsibility. I really believe that if we had fewer organizations and more worthy people, we would have advanced further.”
And she concludes: “I’m not saying that the MSI doesn’t make sense, it is me who doesn’t see the point of being fully inside at this moment. Others will be in charge of breathing life into it. And I will remain open to my loneliness and to new alliances that may appear.”
In her publication, Ramos says that “it is not an impulse, nor a decision made yesterday morning” and asks that no debate be generated in this regard.
“I am not a founder, nor a coordinator, so my departure will not cause much damage to the main lines of work of the movement right now,” she says. “When I entered the MSI, the group had already existed for a long time with sustained work, which will continue.”
By way of explanation, the activist claims to respond “to certain internal voices” that “point the way… The battle that I am waging right now puts me in an extreme situation, where I have few handholds: no country, no home, no possibility of being with my son and my family, no permanent job… It is a situation of helplessness that I prefer to carry to the end, looking at it in its crudeness, because that’s how I am, without half measures,” she writes.
Anamely Ramos was turned down, twice in less than two weeks, when she tried to board an American Airlines plane in Miami for Havana, after spending more than a year at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico to study for a doctorate in anthropology.
The second time she was prevented from boarding, on February 27, the US airline gave her a copy of the document that the Cuban authorities sent her and in which her entry to the island was vetoed. The “notification to airlines of inadmissible passengers in national territory” was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Néstor Morera, who was later included in the list of repressors of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba.
The regime did not make an official statement on his case, but Humberto López, a presenter of Cuban Television and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, did. In a Facebook post, he annotated a post by Ramos herself with a link to the Cuban migration law and a mention of its article 24.1, which indicates that the Cuban State can prevent the entry of anyone who organizes, stimulates, carries out or participate in “hostile actions against the political, economic and social foundations of the Cuban State.”
“Life has taught me that when reality pushes you to the limit, you must bravely accept the loneliness it brings,” Ramos continues in her publication. “For me it is impossible to continue being brave without being sincere. I will go as far as I can and when I can go no further, I will say it, with the same love and the same serenity. That moment has not come.”
The curator acknowledges that if “Luis and Maykel were free” they would have “different opinions” about her decision. “Surely we would fight, but even a discussion with them makes sense, they are the interlocutors I would like to have. Unfortunately it is impossible now,” she mentions, alluding to the fact that both are in prison.
Her departure from the MSI, she assures, “does not diminish my commitment to them and to Cuba at all. I have already said before that I will not let go of Maykel’s hand even if he asks me to.” The activist will continue working “in everything I have done so far and for which I have cultivated very diverse alliances.”
The San Isidro Movement, created in 2018, gained prominence with the protest carried out in November 2020 to request the release of one of its members, Denis Solís, sentenced to eight months in prison for alleged contempt. Several members of the group began a hunger and thirst strike, which some were able to maintain for more than a week, until the headquarters of the Movement, where they were locked up, was raided by the political police, who detained them for several hours.
In solidarity with them, a group of more than 300 people demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture, in Havana, in an unusual protest that managed to start a failed dialogue with the cultural authorities.
Since then, all its members have lived under the harassment of State Security. In May of last year, Osorbo was arrested and, on July 11, before he could participate in the massive demonstrations that were taking place on the Island, Otero Alcántara was arrested as well. The rest of those who participated in the original hunger strike that November are today outside of Cuba, forced into exile.
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