Cuba witnesses rare protest for freedom of expression
Cuba witnesses rare protest for freedom of expression

HAVANA: Cuban artists demonstrate outside the country's culture ministry on Friday. About 200 demonstraters followed the expulsion by authorities in a rare show of disagreement over freedom of expression.

Protesters demanded a dialogue over limits on freedom of expression. They call state oppression after the authorities cracked down on the San Isidro Movement of dissident artists and activists. The Dutch and Czech governments and Amnesty International, as well as other rights groups also voiced concern on 27 November about human rights in Cuba. The movement has been protesting the imprisonment of a rapper on charges of dishonor, casting a spotlight on the one-party state's treatment of human rights. Authorities broke the strike on Thursday, evicting everyone for citing a violation of COVID-19 health protocols. The protesters said this was a pretext to end their protest. The San Isidro Movement, named after the rundown neighborhood in Old Havana where the group has its headquarters, was founded in 2018 to oppose a decree they said increased censorship on the cultural sector.

Late into the evening, the protesters demanded "dialogue" and representatives were waiting to meet with vice-minister Fernando Rojas after having gathered there for much of the day. The protest was rare in Cuba, where permission for such protests is not often given. After the raid on their premises, the 14 members of the group were given coronavirus tests and returned to their homes. Some activists said on social media that Ramos had been released. 

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