Cuba: Writers and artists remain threatened and imprisoned two months after protests

1 October 2021

In the two months since historic mass demonstrations swept through Cuba on July 11, drawing national and international attention to the island’s deteriorating sociopolitical conditions, there have been at least 39 documented arrests of artists related to the protests, four of whom were subjected to trial without a jury. At least 55 artists and writers are currently either under house arrest, imprisoned, or under investigation.

Cuba remains in a devastating social, cultural, health, economic, and political crisis. This crisis includes food shortages, power outages, and insufficient medical services to address the pandemic – all while officials continue to treat peaceful criticism of government policies as criminal behavior. In response to the crisis, thousands of Cubans took to the streets around the country demanding reforms.

Cuban authorities have responded with widespread repression of the protests, including police violence, digital censorship, and the passage of Decree-Law 35, which penalizes the publication of information critical of the government. At least one thousand arrests have been recorded, and countless other people were temporarily disappeared or forced to go

The undersigned organisations, representing authors, artists, human rights defenders, journalists, and intellectuals, urgently call on the government of Cuba to stop the systematic harassment of writers and artists; to immediately release all those who have been arbitrarily detained, arrested, or disappeared; and to respect freedom of expression and artistic freedom, rather than silencing creatives critical of government policies.



We urge that the Cuban government immediately release the following artists:

  • Didier Almagro
  • Ernesto Pacheco López
  • Hamlet Lavastida
  • Lázaro Rodríguez Betancourt (Pupito En Sy)
  • Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara
  • Maykel Castillo Pérez (“Maykel Osorbo”)
  • Randy Arteaga Rivera


We also call on the Cuban authorities to end police and judicial harassment, house arrests, and arbitrary detentions against the following artists, musicians, and writers, who remain under threat: 

  • Abel Lescay
  • Adonis Milán
  • Alina Palmero
  • Amaury Pacheco
  • Aminta D’Cárdenas
  • Ángel Santiesteban
  • Anyelo Troya
  • AfriK3REINA
  • Camila Ramírez Lobón
  • Carlos González Acosta
  • Carolina Barrero
  • Chabelly Díaz
  • Claudia Genlui Hidalgo
  • Daniel Triana
  • David de Omni
  • Daisy Martínez
  • Denis Solís
  • Edel Carrero
  • Eliecer Márquez Duany (“El Funky”)
  • Enrique Alonso (Kike Stories)
  • Ever Fonseca
  • Fernando Ginarte Mora
  • Gerson Manuel Montero Soler
  • Gretel Medina Mendieta
  • Iris Mariño
  • Iris Ruiz
  • Javier Sánchez
  • Juan Carlos Saénz de la Calahorra
  • Julio Llópiz-Casal
  • Katherine Bisquet
  • Manuel de la Cruz
  • Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez Yong
  • María Matienzo
  • Mario Miguel García Piña
  • Mavel Alonso
  • Mijail Rodríguez
  • Milton Macdonald aka Black Bandanaz
  • Mityl Font
  • Omar Mena
  • Osvaldo Navarro (“Navy Pro”)
  • Ramón López Díaz (“El Invasor”)
  • Raúl Prado
  • Reiner Díaz Vega
  • Richard Adrián Zamora Brito (“El Radikal”)
  • Roberto Hidalgo Puentes “Yomil”
  • Solveig Font
  • Yasser Castellanos
  • Yunior García Aguilera


  1. Albanian PEN
  2.  Article 19, oficina para México y Centroamérica
  3. Association Cubains en France pour Cuba Démocratique
  4. Asociación Por Libertad de Prensa
  5. Cadal
  6. Club de las Letras, Nicaragua
  7. Croatian PEN
  8. Cubalex
  9. Cuban Writers in Exile PEN Centre
  10. Cubanos Canadienses por una Cuba Democrática
  11. Danish PEN
  12. English PEN
  13. Fundamedios
  14. Freemuse
  15. Ghanaian PEN
  16. German PEN
  17. Irish PEN/PEN na hÉirean
  18. IFEX ALC
  19. International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights
  20. PEN Afghanistan
  21. PEN Afrikaans
  22. PEN America
  23. PEN Argentina
  24. PEN Bangladesh
  25. PEN Belarus
  26. PEN Bolivia
  27. PEN Canada
  28. PEN Centre of Bosnia & Herzegovina
  29. PEN Chiapas Pluricultural
  30. PEN Chile
  31. PEN Club de France
  32. PEN Ecuador
  33. PEN Eritrea
  34. PEN Esperanto
  35. PEN Haiti
  36. PEN International
  37. PEN Malta
  38. PEN Melbourne
  39. PEN Norway
  40. PEN Nigeria
  41. PEN Quebec
  42. PEN Puerto Rico
  43. PEN Romania
  44. PEN Sierra Leone
  45. PEN South Africa
  46. PEN Turkey
  47. PEN Venezuela
  48. Perth PEN
  49. San Miguel PEN
  50. Sloven PEN
  51. South India PEN Centre
  52. Ugandan PEN
  53. Vietnamese Abroad PEN Centre


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