The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and the rapper Maykel Osorbo were sentenced from the first day of their arrest, but as of today they already know the verdict against them from the judges of the Cuban revolution: the leader of the San Isidro Movement (MSI) will pass five years behind bars and the key artist in the realization of the libertarian anthem Patria y Vida await nine years in prison.

Both have already been in preventive detention for around a year, between prison abuses, hunger strikes and suffering poor conditions in the dungeons of the dictatorship.

The Attorney General’s Office reported today that in the case of Otero Alcántara, the court “argued the express intention, sustained over time, of offending the national flag by publishing photos on social networks where it is used in acts demeaning, accompanied by notoriously offensive and disrespectful expressions, underestimating the feelings of nationality and pride that the Cuban people profess towards our national flag”.

Such a long rant, far from reality, hides the fear of the revolutionary leaders at the free spirit of an artist who with his ingenuity has raised the flag of rebellion without any violence. His leadership brought together artists and intellectuals who dared to demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Culture in November 2020. The leader of the MSI called on his followers to gather during the social outbreak of 11J on the Havana boardwalk, but he could not even arrive at the meeting point after being intercepted by State Security.

The artist is punished and held incommunicado in his Guanajay prison cell after the appeal made before his trial began, which shocked public opinion. When he was finally able to contact his relatives, they reported through social networks that “he is not in a very good mood, he continues to demand his freedom without conditions.”

The two most recognized dissidents in Cuba have refused to accept the exile that the government has offered them in different communications. The government strategy is to present them to the citizens as two great losers.

The revolutionary judges ruled that the rapper Osorbo used digitally manipulated false images “with the manifest purpose of outraging, affecting the honor and dignity of the country’s highest authorities,” in addition to carrying out violent actions. The reality is that the rapper had the help of his neighbors during the violent arrest of the agents, which ended up becoming a popular protest, which left an image for the little story of the Cuban rebels: Osorbo showing the handcuffs on his wrists after his “liberation”.

Very often inside and outside the island, the regime choked on its criticism of President Miguel Díaz-Canel through the different social networks, some memes that together with thousands of others have undermined the image of the person chosen by Raúl Castro to succeed him.

“This decision is another example of the abuse of the laws to persecute activists. We ask the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the European Parliament to demand that the Cuban state fulfill international commitments,” condemned Civil Rights Defenders Latin America.

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