Denis Solis Sent to a Work Camp in the Largest Prison in Cuba

The Combinado del Este maximum security prison is located in Havana. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 5 February 2021 — The rebellious rapper Denis Solís, who is serving eight months in the Combinado del Este, the largest prison in Cuba, for an alleged crime of contempt, was transferred this Friday to the work camp inside the prison itself.

The authorities lifted the ban on making phone calls and he can now also receive visitors. His aunt was going to see him this Wednesday, but finally was unable to do so, according to the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara speaking to this newspaper. Otero Alcántara is the leader of the San Isidro Movement (MSI), which has mobilized for the freedom of Solís since his arrest. “Yesterday his aunt came by to pick up some coats to take to him. They are not letting food pass at the moment, only clothes, because he may now wear civilian clothes,” he details.

According to Solís’s uncle, Vladimir Lázaro González, the authorities prohibited him from any telephone communication following a call from the musician Maykel Castillo, known as ’Osorbo’, who in those days was organizing a concert via social networks to raise funds for the rapper.

Denis Solís González, a member of MSI, was arrested on November 6 by an agent who had broken into his house without a warrant, without explanation and without identifying himself, as the rapper himself recorded and was broadcast on social networks that same day.

These same images, according to the Cuban Prisoners Defenders organization, served as the “arbitrary” basis for the accusation of “contempt,” which took place just three days later. Preventively deprived of his liberty, he was subjected to a summary trial on November 11 and sentenced to eight months in prison.

He was first in the Valle Grande prison, in Havana, and since last December 8, in the Combinado del Este Penitentiary Center, a maximum security prison.

The arrest and imprisonment of Solís was the origin of the protest of some members of the MSI, who gathered on a hunger strike at the headquarters of the group, in Old Havana, for more than a week. They were violently evicted from there by agents dressed as healthcare workers on November 26, which in turn provoked the solidarity of more than 300 artists who, the next day, gathered in front of the Ministry of Culture to request dialogue with the authorities.

The artists and activists who have demonstrated in favor of Solís, the MSI or the 27N (27th November) group have been harassed by State Security and subjected to an intense smear campaign by the regime.

The last episode of these protests was the delivery of a legal appeal before the National Assembly to request the removal of the Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso, who, on January 27, attacked a score of artists who were holding a sit-in in front of the official headquarters .


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.