Following letter was sent out today to international leaders, human rights organizations, and heads of government requesting assistance for the artists and creators from the Movimiento San Isidro currently at risk.

November 24, 2020

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is with utmost respect that we address this letter to you to ask your respective institutions to intercede with the government of General Raul Castro to cease the stalking and harassment tactics against the artists and creators from Movimiento San Isidro, who, since November 18 have been gathered in a peaceful cultural meeting at the Movimiento’s headquarters located in the impoverished neighborhood of San Isidro in Old Havana.

As things stand now, about a dozen young Cubans –poets, journalists, visual artists, musicians and even a scientist- have started a hunger strike, three of them a hunger and thirst strike, to protest the hostility shown to them by the secret police while they were holding a poetry reading to demand peacefully from the Cuban government the release of their colleague, rapper Denis Solis Gonzalez. Mr. Solis Gonzalez has been unfairly arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison on charges of “disobedience”.

Oscar Casanella, Iliana Hernandez, Osmani Pardo Guerra, Adrian Rubiol are presently on hunger strike. Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, Esteban Rodriguez and Maykel Castillo (Osorbo) are on hunger and thirst strike.

Anamely Ramos González, art curator and former professor at University of the Arts, who is a member of Movimiento San Isidro, said she holds “the Cuban State responsible for anything that happens to the seven colleagues who are still on hunger strike…” From the roof of the building, the police threw chemicals down to the inner courtyard where the water tank is located, thus endangering the water supply of the people in the building and also the families’ next door. The Movimiento’s headquarters is totally surrounded by security agents.

Also with the group is university professor and human rights activist, Omara Ruiz Urquiola, a cancer patient who a few days ago, when trying to obtain information about Mr. Solis, was dragged down the street by police so forcefully that her wounds began to bleed.

We implore you to address the Cuban government urgently about ceasing the coercive harassment of Movimiento San Isidro activists, granting the release of Denis Solis Gonzalez as well as the release of all other political prisoners.

Gratefully and respectfully,

Paquito D’Rivera, composer, author
Humberto Calzada, artist
Lilo Villaplanas, filmmaker
Nestor Carbonell, attorney, author
Rosa Maria Paya, CUBADECIDE
Ileana Fuentes, feminist, scholar
Nicolas Estrella, entrepreneur
Alex Guerrero, scholar, Rutgers University
Everett E. Briggs, Former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Honduras and Panama
Guillermo Mármol, chairman, Center for a Free Cuba
Modesto Maidique, former President, Florida International University
Reverend Mario Felix Lleonart, Christian pastor
Otto J. Reich, former US ambassador to Venezuela
Orlando Luis Pardo, writer
Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez, poet, former political prisoner
Frank Calzón, human rights activist
Daniel Pedreira, author
John Suarez, executive director, Center for a Free Cuba