The Cuban revolution has opened this Monday the doors of its judicial circus against the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and against the rapper Maykel Osorbo, two of the dissident voices most listened to by the Cuban people. And he did it with a huge police deployment and his usual “normality”: harassment of activists and encirclement of independent journalists.

The censorship has included cuts in the internet service, in addition to the placement of all kinds of obstacles to hinder the presence of European diplomats in the oral hearing, which has been held since Monday in the Marianao court, in Havana. The mission of the judges is to condemn the leader of the San Isidro Movement (MSI) and one of the authors of the libertarian anthem Patria y Vida.

“We have also registered episodes of violence against relatives of activists who faced the fence and left their house,” denounced the Cubalex organization, headed by dissident lawyer Laritza Divertsen.

Luz Escobar, a reporter for the portal ’14ymedio’ and winner of the El Mundo International Journalism Award, has once again suffered harassment from State Security, which has prevented her from leaving her building. A classic before any event that happens on the island.

Both Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have demanded in a joint statement the immediate release of the two activists, symbols of 11J, the social rebellion last year that has caused a wave of repression on the island. “These prisoners of conscience are human rights defenders and artists who face an unfounded and unfair trial, they should never have been imprisoned,” criticized Érika Guevara Rosas, director of AI for the Americas.

The prosecutors of the revolution demand a sentence of 10 years in prison against rapper Osorbo, 39, whom they accuse of public disorder, defamation of institutions, heroes and martyrs, as well as contempt and attack, some “acts” by the who has already served preventive prison since May 2021.

Against him weighs not only his fundamental participation both in the lyrics of the song that has won the Grammy and in his clandestine presence in the Cuban part of a video shot in Old Havana. For the revolution, the events that occurred in April of last year at the MSI headquarters in Central Havana are also inexcusable, when government agents tried to arrest the rapper and the neighbors prevented him with his massive presence on the street. An image that is already part of the democratic resistance against Castroism, with Osorbo fist raised and his wrist held in police handcuffs.

The hunger strikes and the harsh conditions of his burial have affected the health of the rapper, whose influence is notable in popular Afro-Cuban sectors of the capital. His family and friends fear for his life after several lumps were discovered on his body, caused by a serious failure of his lymphatic system.

Osorbo is a fighter for freedom in Cuba who does not know what it means to be silent. In 2018 he was already sentenced to a year and a half in prison for declaring himself against the famous Decree 349, with which the creation of independent authors is criminalized. In one of his best-known protests, the rapper sewed up his mouth.

Too rebellious and too uncomfortable, his memes on Facebook especially annoyed Miguel Díaz-Canel, who saw his initial popularity drop precipitously thanks to criticism and jokes on social networks.

“They have broken my works of art and many more aberrations that the regime has committed against me and against my friends,” Otero Alcántara has denounced through an audio that he managed to get out of his cell and that in recent days has cost him new prison sentences. The artist has a request for seven years in prison for charges similar to those of Osorbo, to which is added the “outrage” to the national symbols, after using a Cuban flag in a work of art that he called ‘Drapeau’ .

Behind the persecution against Otero is his pacifist leadership, without fanfare and always linked to his artistic manifestations. As soon as he verified through the networks that the Cuban people took to the streets on July 11 of last year, the artist summoned his friends to the Malecón. The police didn’t even let him get there.

The organization ‘Prisoners Defenders’ calculates that the Cuban state keeps 1,015 political prisoners in its dungeons, of which 874 are linked to the 11J protests.

“Why are they so afraid of them? Because they haven’t given up, because they haven’t been able to beat them,” the writer Camilo Venegas responds to EL MUNDO. “In Cuba, justice is one more instrument of repression. That is why in Marianao, more than judging or doing justice, a lesson will be given. It will be made clear to young people that they only have two options: they give up their future and they are submissive. before old age or go into exile,” Venegas has sentenced.

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