Cuba sees rare protest over freedom of expression

HAVANA (AFP) – About 200 Cuban artists demonstrated outside the country’s culture ministry on Friday in a rare protest over freedom of expression that received support from leading Cuban cinema figures.

The demonstration followed the expulsion by authorities on Thursday night of protesting members of an artists’ collective from their premises in the historic centre of Havana.

Authorities said the eviction of the 14 members of the San Isidro Movement was necessary due to COVID-19 protocols since one had returned from Mexico via the United States (US) and not properly quarantined.

They had been protesting for 10 days, with six of them on hunger strike, and their movement had gained significant attention.

Demonstrators outside the culture ministry on Friday demanded “dialogue” and representatives were waiting to meet with vice minister Fernando Rojas after having gathered there for much of the day.

A group of young intellectuals and artists demonstrate at the doors of the Ministry of Culture during a protest in Havana. PHOTO: AFP