Manifesto Supports the Artists of ‘Patria y Vida’ Repressed by the Cuban Government

The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, behind ‘El Funky’ and Maykel Castillo ‘El Osorbo’, in a scene from the video clip of ‘Patria y Vida’. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 27 May 2021 — On Thursday, Cuban Prisoners Defenders (CPD) launched a manifesto in support of the artists participating in the song Patria y Vida (Homeland and Life) who have been besieged by the Cuban government in recent weeks, and called for an end to the repression.

In the text, they refer mainly to the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who has been incommunicado for 25 days at the Calixto García hospital in Havana, and the rapper Maykel Castillo El Osorbo, who disappeared after his arrest, more than seven days ago, accused of “attack”, “contempt” and “resistance.”

In addition, the Madrid-based organization reports that Eliexer Márquez El Funky was also detained for a few hours, on May 18, and “a precautionary measure that prevents him from leaving his home freely” was imposed, after he was threatened with penalties similar to those applied to Castillo.

CPD also has words for the seven people arrested in the Obispo street park when they were demonstrating to try to get to the house of Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, at that time on a hunger strike, in Old Havana, shouting “Patria y Vida”: Esteban Rodríguez, Mary Karla Ares, Thais Mailén Franco, Inti Soto, Ángel Cuza, Yuisán Cancio and Adrián Curuneaux.

“The video Patria y Vida, created by the desire for national reconciliation and to bring hope to the interior of Cuban society, was received by the dictatorship with a brutal and aggressive deployment towards artists and citizens,” says the manifesto, which says that” all members of the musical event have been defamed in the official media” and the Cubans, “have been repressed for using the phrase in social networks, on posters or on the walls of their homes,” at the same time demanding that the Cuban State “release and immediately exonerate all those convicted of and charged with ’crimes’ of conscience, the recently detained and indicted and the more than 100 current cases.” They also solicit ” solidarity from the international community” to demand that the Island “comply with the commitments acquired in the field of human rights and cease the state of terror that has been established.”

The signers of the document are headed by the co-creators of the song who are “still free.” The organization lists: the producer Anyelo Troya, the director Asiel Babastro and the singers Alexander Delgado, Randy Malcom, Descemer Bueno, El Funky and Yotuel Romero, followed by numerous organizations, activists, artists and intellectuals inside and outside the island. On its page the CPD offers  the opportunity to publicly sign on to the manifesto.


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