At the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement (MSI) a collective birthday was celebrated this Sunday, planned by the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara. Damas Street, in Old Havana, was filled with residents of the neighborhood with a strong police operation remaining in the afternoon.
During the celebration, and from loudspeakers placed in the house, the musical theme Patria y Vida was heard, while dozens of neighbors took to the streets and chanted verses of the popular song that has given hives to Cuban officials. The lyrics of the song Héroe by Al2 El Aldeano and Silvito El Libre also played.
From the beginning of the celebration, the headquarters of the MSI was surrounded by police patrols and several uniformed policemen had been harassing the artists since the morning. “If we have to bunker down again, we’ll do it,” said Alcántara, accompanied by rapper Maykel Osorbo and Eliexer Márquez, known as El Funky.
With the collective birthday, Alcántara seeks to bring joy to the children of an area with an economically very vulnerable population. But, the State TV’s official presenter Humberto López warned last Friday that the birthday celebration was a “subversive activity” financed by the National Democratic Institute of the United States.
The police tried to arbitrarily detain Osorbo when he went to the MSI headquarters this Sunday, but the rebellious rapper refused to get in the patrol car. From the failed arrest, he had handcuffs hanging from his wrist as can be seen in the live broadcasts posted through Facebook. Around 9 p.m., Castillo said the artists returned home without being arrested after the unusual protest.
Alcántara expressed solidarity with the hunger strikers of the Patriotic Union of Cuba while calling for all Cubans to do the same. “We are going to focus on Santiago de Cuba,” he said.
At another time they chanted ¡Díaz-Canel, singao! , a song also by Al2 El Aldeano and Silvito El Libre and the song Un Sueno, by reggaetoner El Micha. The images of neighbors dancing and celebrating on Damas Street have sparked hundreds of messages of support on social networks in a few minutes.
The day before, both Alcántara and Osorbo were arrested, the first when he bought some children’s books destined to be distributed at the children’s party this Sunday. Several activists who went to the police station in Cuba and Chacón were also detained for several hours.