Cuban Rapper Denis Solis, of the San Isidro Movement, Seeks Asylum in Germany

Denis Solís, third from the right, holding a Cuban flag next to several compatriots in Germany. (14ymedio/courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, November 10, 2022 — The controversial Cuban rapper Denis Solís has been in Germany for a few days with an aunt, an uncle and a cousin, like the activist Daniela Rojo, who is in the same refuge in Nuremberg, and who spoke to 14ymedio. Together with his relatives, the artist crossed the border on foot from Serbia, where he had been since he forcibly left the Island, at the end of last year, after an arbitrary sentence of eight months in prison.

“His immediate plans are to wait for the end of the process of applying for political asylum in Germany, which is slow,” says Rojo, who together with her two children are in the same process of seeking permission to stay.

The arrest of Denis Solís in November 2020, and the subsequent conviction for contempt in a very summary trial, opened a spate of protests by the San Isidro Movement, led by the artists Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo Osorbo, both currently prisoners of conscience in Cuba.

San Isidro Movement members then began a hunger strike at their headquarters in Havana, from which they were violently evicted by State Security agents disguised as health workers, with the excuse of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event triggered a protest by more than 300 artists who gathered in front of the Ministry of Culture to ask for dialogue with the authorities and gave rise to the group 27N (27 November), and also the Archipiélago platform led by the playwright Yunior García Aguilera, later exiled in Spain.

Solís’ release took place in July 2021, after serving eight months in prison. Shortly thereafter, to escape the harassment of the Cuban authorities, he took a flight to Moscow for Serbia, where Cubans are exempt from needing a visa.

The same type of coercion on the part of the regime was suffered by the relatives of Andy García Lorenzo, imprisoned for demonstrating on July 11, 2021 [11J] in Santa Clara. They are also seeking asylum in Germany.

Pedro López, father of Andy’s brother-in-law, Jonatan López, said the same thing this Thursday in a direct broadcast on Facebook. Both, accompanied by Pedro’s wife and their youngest daughter, age 15, left the Island on November 3.

In his publication, Pedro López shows the Giessen refugee camp, where they are, and warns those who want to emigrate in the same way that it is “a very difficult process.”

He clarifies, in any event, that his process “is not the norm: we had to flee from State Security.” Although the conditions are complicated, he says, “it’s better here than in prison.”

As Roxana García Lorenzo, Jonatan’s wife, the only one who stayed in Cuba, had anticipated in another video, López was given an “ultimatum”: he would be imprisoned if he remained on the Island on November 3.

“My brother from prison spent a long time asking us to please leave the country, that he didn’t want us to continue going through all these things, that he didn’t want us to be in the same place where he is, with the terrible conditions that exist there. He told us all the time that we had no idea what it’s like to be inside,” Roxana explained at the time, recalling that her brother had been in prison for a year and a half.

The young man, 24 years old, was sentenced to four years on January 10, along with 15 other protesters who took to the streets during 11J, for public disorder, contempt and assault.

After an appeal made at the end of May, he was “momentarily released,” waiting to “continue to fulfil his sentence in an open field.” A few days later he was arrested on the street while traveling with his father on a motorcycle and transferred to El Yabú.

Since he was arrested, his family has been one of the most active in the defense of 11J political prisoners and have repeatedly denounced the harassment by State Security that they have suffered.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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