San Isidro Movement in Cuba
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations; Fundamental Rights
- In Cuba, a campaign by artists and activists demanding greater freedom of expression has been in news recently.
- Cuba has been under an authoritarian communist regime for more than 60 years.
- The Movimiento San Isidro, or the San Isidro Movement (MSI), started two years ago to protest state censorship of artistic works.
- It started in September 2018, when the Cuban government sought to enforce Decree 349 which is a law that would have given powers to the nation’s Culture Ministry to restrict cultural activity it did not approve of.
- To protest against the decree, artists, poets, journalists and activists gathered in San Isidro, It is a Black-majority locality that is among Havana’s poorest yet most culturally active wards, and which also forms part of the Old Havana UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- After 2015 deal between Cuba and the US, one of whose provisions stipulated that the Cuban regime should allow its people greater internet freedoms, the protesters managed to connect and amplify their message over the internet with relative ease.
- It has now become a platform for Cuban dissidents both within and outside the country.