Cuban Authorities Still Haven’t Explained Why Alcantara Can’t Leave the Hospital

Otero Alcántara was transferred to the Calixto García Hospital on the 2nd, allegedly good condition, but nine days later he is still there. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 May 2021 — The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is still hospitalized despite the fact that he was admitted to the Calixto García in Havana nine days ago and the authorities released clinical data indicating that his health was more than good.

The Provincial Directorate of Health of Havana released a statement on Tuesday in which it assures that the opponent “has voluntarily ingested liquid and solid food, which has provided him with the necessary calories.” Also, and according to his request, he was treated in dermatology, although they do not specify the purpose of the consultation.

In the note, the agency adds that Otero Alcántara is asymptomatic and walks accompanied by the medical team through the common areas of the hospital. He also maintains that the activist of the San Isidro Movement” has given his agreement to the health personnel who treat him so that they can share information on his clinical evolution and at all times he has been grateful for the care received.”

In the statement, it is emphasized that the artist entered the hospital on May 2 with a diagnosis of “referred voluntary starvation,”,which contrasts with the information provided the day after, when it was said that there were no “signs of malnutrition” and that his “clinical and biochemical parameters” were normal.

Around that date, the pro-government media published multiple opinion columns in which they even attributed the good data of an alleged analysis to a high consumption of meat. In its intense campaign of discrediting, Cuban Television had also said in the previous hunger and thirst strike that the opponent carried out in November that there was evidence that he had bought large quantities of food.

The Havana Health authorities take advantage of the case to praise the Calixto García hospital, which has been widely criticized recently for the poor condition of its facilities, and refers to it as an “institution of high level of specialization and tradition in services” which “guaranteed the recovery of his health, complying with the hospital care protocols established for these cases, the principles of Cuban medical ethics, and taking into account the guidelines contained in the Declaration of Malta.”

This Tuesday is a week since the opponent was exhibited by the authorities in a video in which he was heard saying: “The medical staff has been spectacular, beyond that I will continue to demand my rights as an artist, but we cannot To say that the treatment has been bad, you have to know how to differentiate between the profession of doctor and other occupations such as State Security.”

The event was interpreted in a different way, because while some understood that he was giving up his combative attitude by lending himself to make those statements, others affirmed that he had been threatened, coerced or even over-medicated for the recording.

Days later, last Friday, Otero Alcántara appeared in the area outside a pavilion and made a subtle gesture with his hand, the “L” that opponents use to demand freedom.

On the other hand, the San Isidro Movement assured this Monday that they know, from the only relatives who are allowed visits, that Otero Alcántara ingests liquids but “maintains his demands.” The artist is also not allowed to use his cell phone or make calls from the facility’s phones. “Outside the immediate family, any type of contact or communication has been prevented, and we have testimonial information that any person who tries to visit him is subject to police arrest and questioning,” the opposition group denounced.


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