Cuban Artist Otero Alcantara Imprisoned and Isolated for Two Weeks in Havana’s Calixto Garcia Hospital

The exterior of the Calixto García Hospital, where Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is admitted, continues to be heavily guarded this Monday. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar, 17 May 2021 – This Monday, the Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara marks 15 days of forced admission to the Calixto García hospital in Havana, without the freedom to communicate or receive visits. The activist’s fate continues to generate demands and complaints from international organizations.

The San Isidro Movement (MSI), which has denounced the isolation to which the artist is subjected, continues to wait for the Ministry of Public Health to respond to the request delivered on Friday by the poet Amaury Pacheco asking that the actress Iris Ruiz can visit Alcantara in the hospital.

The document indicates that the artist remains against his will in the Rubén Batista room, which, according to this newspaper, is surrounded by police officers. “We know very little about his physical and psychological integrity, since he is being held incommunicado,” emphasizes the MSI 
through its social networks.

In addition, they add that through the relatives who can visit the artist, it has not been possible to have details about the medical treatment applied to him. Alcántara’s aunt told 14ymedio that the last time they were able to visit was “three or four days ago.”

The police cordon around the hospital has prevented the entry of his relatives, including his girlfriend, who on two occasions has been prohibited from accessing the facilities. Others who have tried have been arrested, including Adrián Coroneaux who was arrested on May 4.

In these two weeks, both on social networks and on television, the Government has circulated videos of the artist in Calixto García, accompanied by Ifrán Martínez Gálvez, deputy surgical director of the hospital.

Alcántara was forcibly taken from his home on May 2 while on a hunger and thirst strike to protest the harassment to which the State Security has subjected him.

Political police officers had raided his house and stolen several works of art that hung on the walls of his house, the headquarters of the MSI. The artist asked, with his strike, to end the siege that prohibited him from going out, as well as the return of his works or compensation for those that were destroyed.

When he was taken to Calixto García, an uncle of the artist, Enix Berrio, explained to 14ymedio that they did not notify any family member that they were transferring him to the hospital, and that Otero Alcántara’s sister was surprised when she arrived at Damas 955 and found “a new padlock at the door and a bar.”

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