Charges Dropped Against Artists Over July 11 Protests in Front of the ICRT

“We are fighting forcefully and intelligently to put fish on the Cuban table,” an official told Cubadebate. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, December 30, 2021 — The artists charged with public disorder for protesting in front of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) on July 11 learned on Thursday that the cases against them were being dropped. In essence, they were being acquitted.

The situation remains unclear, however, for playwright Yunior García Aguilera and curator Solveig Font, both members of the group, are both outside of Cuba.

Actor Reinier Diaz told 14ymedio that when he went to the police station at Zapata and C streets to sign the legal document dismissing his case, he inquired about the status of García Aguilera and Font and they told him, “Their situations are different,” without giving any further information.

García Aguilera tells 14ymedio that he knows nothing about the status of his case and that Font “is looking into it.”

“I just signed the document dismissing the charges over the July 11 protest in front of ICRT. I was not intending to make a public announcement but I feel indebted to many people for this outcome,” wrote historian Leonardo Fernandez Otaño on social media.

In the post he thanks friends who helped him support himself during this period and those who were subjected to interrogation because of their closeness to him. He also thanked his parents for “all their suffering,” which he says is ongoing, and neighbors who “ferociously” defended him from assault and attempted acts of public repudiation.

The young historian says he is “grateful” that the charges have been dropped “because no one can hide the truth” but also admits to feeling sad that it was “the privileges of being white and intellectual” that saved him. “The young people from La Güinera were not so lucky,” he writes. In late December thirty-two people from this impoverished Cuban town were sentenced to up to twenty-six years in prison for their participation in the July 11 protests. Fernandez Otaño describes their sentences as “unjust and politically motivated.”

Other ICRT protesters who had effectively been placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure included Edel Carrero, Javier Perez Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Saenz Calahorra, Raul Prado, Gretel Medina, Daniel Triana and Aminta Calzado.


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