Movimiento San Isidro
Movimiento San Isidro (“San Isidro Movement”) was formed in 2018 by a group of Cuban artists, journalists, and academics who staged major protests against the communist government’s increased control and sweeping censorship of artistic expression, and has now become a channel for Cuban dissidents within and outside the Caribbean nation.
Two members of the San Isidro Movement – Maykel Castillo a.ka. “Osorbo” and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara – were arrested and held unjustly in prison in Cuba in 2021 for their pro-democracy activism. Both artists helped found the San Isidro Movement. Castillo is a rapper, and Alcantara is a visual artist, and they collaborated together on a music video promoting free speech and cultural expression in Cuba. Their song and music video, “Patria y Vida,” has received 7 million views and calls for a change in government. The song is a reaction against the communist slogan “Patria y Muerte,” meaning “Fatherland or Death. “Patria y Vida” has now become the rally cry used throughout Cuba against dictatorship oppression. After they released the song, Castillo was violently arrested on May 18 in his home, and Alcantara was detained on July 10.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation awarded Movimiento San Isidro in July 2021, while the world was witnessing the largest Cuban protests in decades taking place by the long-suffering captive peoples in Cuba. The Cuban people are crying out to end 62 years of communist dictatorship, economic oppression, and human rights violations, and recently the continued shortages of products and medical supplies as well as increased censorship have magnified the importance of this call for liberty.