Miami News

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz leads effort to free Cuban artists under unjust detention

Wasserman Schultz campaigns to release Cuban artists Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo Pérez and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara

U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz has launched a determined campaign to advocate for the immediate release of two Cuban artists, Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo Pérez and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, whom the Cuban communist regime has wrongfully detained since the July 11 protests. The Congresswoman, in collaboration with the Defending Freedoms Project, aims to shed light on the injustices faced by these artists and secure their freedom, leveraging support from key advocacy organizations.

Injustices faced by imprisoned artists

Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo Pérez, a celebrated rapper and recipient of multiple Latin Grammy awards, was detained without a warrant in May 2021 and subsequently sentenced to a nine-year prison term after a trial behind closed doors. Disturbing reports have unveiled the various forms of mistreatment and threats experienced by Castillo Pérez, including punishment cells, solitary confinement, delayed medical attention, and intimidation from both fellow inmates and state security personnel. These revelations underscore the severe conditions endured by political prisoners within the Cuban detention system.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Advocacy efforts and international support

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz's passionate advocacy has garnered significant support from renowned organizations such as Freedom House and Amnesty International, solidifying the international community's attention toward the plight of Maykel and Luis Manuel. By inserting their firsthand testimonials into the Congressional Record, Wasserman Schultz has effectively brought their cause to the forefront of congressional discussions, compelling heightened awareness and urgent action toward securing the immediate and unconditional release of these unlawfully imprisoned artists. The collaboration with these reputable advocacy groups signifies a concerted global effort to emphasize the fundamental importance of freedom of expression and human rights, particularly within oppressive regimes like Cuba.

The ongoing struggle faced by Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo Pérez serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges encountered by individuals striving to express themselves in environments where freedom of expression is stifled, and dissent is met with harsh reprisal.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz's commitment to their cause signifies a significant step in the broader fight for human rights and serves as a beacon of hope for those enduring similar struggles under repressive regimes worldwide. Listen to her full remarks here.

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