VOC Calls for the Immediate Release of Political Prisoners Jailed by Cuban Communist Regime

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) commemorates the 9th anniversary of the killing of Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero, VOC calls for the immediate release of the leaders of the San Isidro Movement, who have been jailed by the Cuban Communist regime, along with VOC’s Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom laureate, José Daniel Ferrer and hundreds of peaceful demonstrators who have been arbitrarily detained and are being sentenced by Cuban kangaroo courts.

The San Isidro Movement, formed in 2018 by a group of Cuban artists, journalists, and academics who staged major protests against the Cuban communist government’s increased control and sweeping censorship of artistic expression, has now become a channel for Cuban dissidents within and outside the Caribbean nation.

Two leaders of the San Isidro Movement – Maykel Castillo a.ka. “Osorbo” and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara – are currently being held unjustly in prison in Cuba for their pro-democracy activism, along with artist Anyelo Troya Gonzalez, for their contributions to the music video, “Patria y Vida”, which has received 7 million views and calls for freedom in Cuba.

“The people demonstrating in the streets and the San Isidro Movement are the new face of a diverse Cuba clamoring for freedom,” said VOC President and CEO Andrew Bremberg, “and warrants the full support of the U.S. government and all freedom-seeking people. The U.S. should lead the free world in supporting the Cuban people and targeting repressors with sanctions.”

VOC presented its Dissident Human Rights Award to the San Isidro Movement on Tuesday during the Captive Nations Week Summit. Audio acceptance remarks from Maykel Castillo a.ka. “Osorbo” were smuggled out of a Cuban prison and played at the award ceremony.

This award is for more than just me; this award is for all Cubans. For all Cubans, really. All Cubans right now are ready and are tired. I, personally, want you all to know that this prize is yours, and that I share it with all of you, truly, with all my heart,” said Castillo.