Cuba: More artists arrested over Decree 349 protests

5 December 2018
Freemuse and Cadal call for urgent intervention from the international community to save free speech and cultural expression in Cuba.
Photo: #NO AL DECRETO 349 song / David D Omni YouTube


On 3 December 2018, Cuban police arrested performance artist Tania Bruguera and several other Cuban artists including Yanelys Núñez and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara ahead of another planned protest against the controversial new Decree 349, reported Reuters.

Bruguera was released later that evening, but Núñez and Otero Alcántara are still detained, as of 5 December.

Bruguera shared a photo of herself wearing a ‘No Al Decreto 349’ (No to Decree 349) T-shirt on social media, saying she will go on hunger and thirst strike if she is detained again.

Pensé que no iba a necesitar este pullover ni este argumento ni pensaba meterme en esto porque otros lo han hecho…

Posted by Bruguera Tania on Monday, December 3, 2018


“I thought I wasn’t going to need this sweater or this argument or was planning to get into this because others have done very well, but as long as there are artists imprisoned I will be at the entrance of the mincult (Ministry of Culture), where the minister enters (the building). I feel like I can’t do anything else than sympathise,” she said.

“I love you all because we are all fighting for the same for no to 349!”

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.

Numerous arrests have been made as artists protest the decree, which is due to come into effect in December 2018.

In November, 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 hours before their scheduled public meditation protest in a Havana park.

Read more about Decree 349 here.

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