San Isidro Movement / History of the Movement

History of the Movement


The Cuban Government in 2018 proposed Decree 349, which establishes sanctions and penalizes freedom of creation, expression, choice of work and dissemination in the field of art and culture, these being controlled directly by the Ministry of Culture, specifically by the figure of a cultural inspector and constituting a violation of Cultural Rights.

The civic and political sense of art as expression has marked the history of the Island, forming a dissidence led by artists and intellectuals, who over 60 years have suffered imprisonment, exile and exclusion, due to a cultural policy that began with the sentence pronounced by Fidel in 1971: “Within the revolution, everything, against the revolution, nothing”, a phrase that establishes censorship and produced the so-called Gray Quinquennium, Parameterization and decrees 226, as well as the most recent 349.

When decree 349 was published, a group of Cuban artists and intellectuals reacted and, using institutional channels, sent two communications to the National Assembly, expressing their concerns about the impact of these regulations on the exercise of artistic freedoms. They received no response.

Parallel to the legal claim, a series of actions such as the so-called “Square Tables” were initiated to debate the content and approach of this decree; as well as a performance, which we could affirm, marked a before and after in the visibility of the effects that would weigh on the artistic sector. Two of the artists were arrested when they were moving to the place of the activity, the rest managed to execute what was planned, attracting the attention of the local and international media, as well as the respective national authorities. The severity of the decree was made a priority on the public agenda.

From this successful experience of unity, the San Isidro Movement was born, an initiative made up of artists, activists, journalists, intellectuals and anyone who feels part of the phenomenon of independence, united to promote, protect and defend full freedom of expression, association. , creation and dissemination of art and culture in Cuba, empowering society towards a future with democratic values.

The following actions continued to bring together citizen support in general, as well as the most representative sectors of independent civil society and the aforementioned gray area, in an emotional #JUNTOSPODEMOS campaign. Signatures have been collected, alliances and agreements have been established with other groups to achieve shared objectives.

This advocacy work succeeded in getting the Cuban government, through the Ministry of Culture, to meet with artists and intellectuals and publicly declare that it would pause the implementation of Decree 349. The San Isidro Movement consequently earns respect and the recognition of civil and political society both nationally and internationally.