Cuba accuses a Miami-based artist of funding protests by Clandestinos, the Cuban "Anonymous"
The trigger was a video where Ana Olema and other artists showed their support for the island movement with masks like the ones worn by the thieves in the "Money Heist" series.
When Cuban visual artist Ana Olema talks about politics, she is selective. Her latest video-protest, which she made in collaboration with other artists from Miami, where she lives, has ignited Cuban authorities to the point of pointing to her as a "puppet" in service of the United States and the "anti-Cuban mafia" in Florida.
That is how forceful - to mitigate the government's jargon about Olema Hernández - they were in a Cuban television report a few days ago, where they accused her of funding Clandestinos' acts — an anonymous protest movement that covers the statues of José Martí with pig's blood all over the island.
In the video made by the well-known activist, entitled "Castro Ciao" - a free version of the popular anti-fascist theme "Bella Ciao" - they appear dressed as the characters in the Spanish Netflix series "Money Heist" to support Clandestinos, some of whose members have been arrested and repressed by the Cuban government.
In fact, in the cited Cuban report, four detainees, supposedly Clandestinos members, are presented, pointing out that they had received money from the dissidents in Miami. Among them was Jorge Ernesto Pérez, who is blamed for having kept in touch with Hernández.
"To talk about politics is to take responsibility," the 33-year-old artist told El Nuevo Herald in response to attacks and insults from regime supporters both on and off the island.
"The people who disagree are Cubans who begin to take responsibility for their lives and their destiny, in this moment, the clash begins with a state begins that wants you to stay a child and never become an adult."
She also said that the Cuban government fears any demonstration because "they touch on sacred points where their repression is based."
In reference to the Torch March organized by the regime last January 28 in honor of revolutionary José Martí, Hernández added: "They can take people out to the streets because from terror anyone can govern."
Ana Olema's confrontation with Cuban politics is not new. Just a couple of days ago, she published, alongside Dania Pérez, a version of the well-known feminist song "El violador eres tú," which also scandalized those who dismissed her work as a "moral firing squad."
Olema Hernández, who became interested in politics and the influence of power through the artist Tania Bruguera — who was also a protestor and taught courses in Havana in 2005 — began an art project that has continued to this day on the forms of indoctrination under totalitarianism. It includes things like saluting the flag with five extended fingers, which every adult raised in Cuba still remembers.
But who are the members of Clandestinos, that Cuban-style "Anonymous" that stars in the controversial video and confronts an old regime with new shoes?
They began online and their most famous protest — one that's inspired suspicions and criticisms (and also a lot of applause) — is pouring pig's blood over several busts of José Martí, the famous founder of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, at various points in Havana.
Since the beginning 2020, the Internet has become a breeding ground for conspiracies. Some say that they are mere vandals, while others say it is a strategy of the Cuban State Security to justify repression against dissidents. There are also those who understand, like Hernández, the deep roots of the protest.
"They can take the people to the streets because from terror anyone can govern," Ana Olema
The reality is that no one knows. Witnesses are scarce and evidence is few. Although, the names of some people allegedly involved who were arrested by the Cuban police been leaked. They are accused of receiving money from Miami-based dissidents.
The official press release published the news of the detainees claiming that "the grievance was denounced as a dirty media maneuver to make people believe that a climate of insecurity and violence exists in Cuba."
"Everything passes through a political filter from the moment you get up until you go to bed," the activist concluded.