Cuba: Rapper arrested over COVID-19 video

6 May 2020
Rapper Maykel Osorbro portait
Image: Maykel Osorbo / Maykel Osorbo on Facebook


15 April 2020: Cuban rapper Maykel Osorbo was detained by the National Revolution Police while recording a Facebook Live video in which he spoke about local politics and COVID-19, reported CubaNet 

Police claimed that the artist was broadcasting images that are illegal under Decree 370 and accused the artist of “contempt” and contributing to the “spread of epidemics”. 

The video of Osorbo’s arrest is circulated on social media channels.

Detienen al rapero cubano Maykel Obsorbo

#ÚLTIMAHORA | Hace pocos minutos una patrulla policial se llevó detenido al rapero Maykel Obsorbo. Le arrebataron su celular y amenazan con aplicarle el represivo Decreto 370

Posted by ADN Cuba on Wednesday, April 15, 2020


According to Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, Decree 370 establishes legal norms for the informatization of society in Cuba and punishes “hosting a site on servers located in a foreign country, other than as a mirror or replica of the main site on servers located in national territory” and “to disseminate, through public networks of data transmission, information contrary to the social interest, morals, good manners and integrity of people.”  

Additionally, epidemic propagation is regulated in Cuba by Article 187 of the Penal Code and by Decree 272 /article 19.  

This is Osorbo’s second arrest this year as he was arrested by the police in Habana on 17 March 2020 and detained for four hours without any explanation given according to Ciber Cuba 

Osorbo was sitting at Obispo Street with two other people when three police officers came up to the artist and asked for his documents. When Osorbo asked for the reasoning behind the request, the police officers said that they just had orders.  

The police officers took the artist’s phone and handcuffed him while the other two people were not approached. Osorbo was taken to the police station where he waited for four hours for the chief to arrive. The chief never showed up and the artist was released. 

Osorbo published a video of his arrest on his Facebook profile.  

Esta es la cruda realidad represión totalitaria, no ay de otra que seguir luchando, ok

Posted by Maykel Osorbo on Monday, March 16, 2020


Maykel Osorbo is a rapper who openly opposes the Cuban authorities in public statements and his songs. He has recently joined Movimiento San Isidro – the collective of artists that fight for freedom of artistic expression. 


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