The Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, the journalist Mauricio Mendoza and many other activists and artists were arrested in Havana for their involvement in a protest at the Ministry of Culture on 27 January, during which the culture minister was recorded physically striking at a demonstrator.
Several messages from Bruguera were posted on social media, including a video in which she states that “Cubans cannot accept that there are artists in prison” and that protestors were arrested after responding to invitations for a “dialogue” with the culture minister Alpidio Alonso.
In videos and photographs recorded by several people present, the culture minister can be seen swiping at Mendoza, a journalist for the Diario de Cuba, and knocking down his cell phone. The demonstrators were then arrested and taken onto a bus, where many said they were further attacked by police. Alonso was accompanied by the vice ministers of culture Fernando Rojas and Fernando León Jacomino in the confrontation with protestors. Activists have called for the resignation of all three, as well as Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in a petition that has steadily gained signatures.