A group of Cuban artists was arrested by state security on 22 November 2018, hours before their scheduled public meditation in a Havana park as part of their campaign against the controversial new Decree 349, which is due to come into effect in December, reported Diario de Cuba.
Artists Yanelys Núñez, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Yasser Castellanos and his wife Verónica Vega, Amaury Pacheco, Javier Moreno Díaz and activist Lucinda González Gómez were arrested throughout the day, according to lawyer Laritza Diverset.
During Núñez and Otero Alcántara’s 10-hour-long detention at a police station in San Miguel Del Padrón, Lieutenant Colonel Kenya told them they could meditate at home, but not in public, according to Diario de Cuba.
The group had planned to start a meditation action for art and freedom of expression at a park in Havana, from 4pm on 22 November. It’s the latest in a series of protests against Decree 349/2018.
On 10 July 2018, the government of Cuba published the new decree that institutionalises censorship of independent art and culture and establishes violations for artistic services that are not regulated and recognised by the official cultural institutions in Cuba.
It represents a clear restriction on the exercise of the right to take part in Cuban cultural life.