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Yanelys Núñez Leyva

Yanelys Núñez Leyva is a Cuban human rights activist and women’s activist. Co-founder of the San Isidro Movement, she is exiled in Madrid due to the persecution of the regime.

Today we have the honor to present Yanelys Núñez Leyva, a courageous Cuban activist who has devoted her life to the defense of fundamental freedoms in her country. Born in Cuba, Yanelys had to go into exile due to the regime’s persecution, finding refuge in Madrid, though her heart continues beating for the island she left behind.

In 2018, Yanelys was at the forefront of the campaign against Decree 349, a restrictive measure of the Cuban regime that sought to draconianly regulate artistic and cultural activities on the island. In response to this threat to fundamental freedoms, Yanelys co-founded the San Isidro Movement, along with other artists and activists, with the aim of protecting freedom of creation and openly challenging the dictatorship that suffocates Cubans.

In addition to her participation in the San Isidro Movement, Yanelys was one of the promoters of the Havana Biennial, an independent, inclusive and democratic art event that sought to establish connections between the Cuban people through culture. Her creativity and determination to overcome the limitations imposed by the regime make her a woman at the forefront, leading initiatives that seek to empower Cuban society.

Currently, Yanelys is part of the writing team of the magazine Alas Tensas, a publication made in Cuba that addresses the political news of the island and gender issues, being a critical voice from exile. Her role as a human rights defender is reflected in every word she writes, keeping alive the flame of resistance. Yanelys not only faces political and cultural repression, but also stands out for his commitment to the feminist cause. From Madrid, Yanelys continues to be a tireless voice in denouncing gender-based violence and repression suffered by women in Cuba.

In his struggle for freedom and equality, Yanelys has found allies in the international community, but acknowledges that they have often felt lonely, especially “with Borrell’s recent visit,” because she felt “that economic interests are above human rights.” Yanelys stresses the need to hold the Cuban regime accountable for a dictatorship that continues after more than 60 years and thousands of political prisoners, persisting in her efforts to make the situation in Cuba visible and fight for the freedom of its people.

Yanelys Núñez Leyva, with his courage and dedication, stands as a leading figure in the struggle for human rights, democracy and equality in Cuba. Her history of resistance is a source of inspiration for present and future generations in Cuba.

Interview to Yanelys Núñez Leyva

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Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

Mujeres al frente es un espacio de reflexión dirigido por la política y abogada española Soraya Rodríguez Ramos. Desde 2019, es diputada del Parlamento Europeo en la delegación del partido Ciudadanos. Desde su escaño de eurodiputada, desarrolla un intenso trabajo como portavoz en Igualdad de Género y Derechos de la Mujer del grupo Renew Europe, así como miembro del Comité de Derechos Humanos y de la Comisión de Medio Ambiente por su compromiso con el cuidado del planeta y la justicia climática.