14ymedio, Havana, 25 May 2021 — Cuban State Security has released two new videos of the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who as of Tuesday marks 23 days held in the Calixto García Hospital in Havana. The material was leaked by a Facebook profile under the name of Kamilita Cuba which poses as a supporter of the San Isidro Movement.
The post that introduces the videos has the clear intention of discrediting Otero Alcántara: “Look at Luis Manuel, a nurse friend from Calixto sent to me, I don’t know what to think anymore, look at him skanking around with the nurse, I no longer believe in him, I thought he would be our salvation, but I was wrong,” writes the Internet user.
In the video, Otero Alcántara is seen talking with a woman who looks like a hospital employee as they walk through the courtyard of the facility. At one point he jokes with her by simulating a boxing match. There is no element that allows us to know on what date the material was filmed or if it is prior to the last recording, in which the artist is seen, very deteriorated, in his room with a maternal uncle.
This, in a video also leaked by State Security, insisted a few days ago that the date of that visit to the hospital was May 16, but it could not be confirmed either.
This Tuesday is the fourth video released of the artist, presumably without his consent. The first was made public on May 2 and Otero Alcántara is seen entering the Calixto García Hospital, after he was taken from his home against his will on the eighth day of his hunger and thirst strike.
The second material was shared by the doctor Ifrán Martínez, a specialist at the center and who holds the position of surgical deputy director. On May 7, a third recording was published, very similar to that of this Tuesday, in which the artist is also seen walking through the hospital courtyard. On that occasion, the artist, who looked at the camera as if he knew he was being filmed, made an L with his hand, a gesture used by activists to ask for freedom.
The recordings published this Tuesday come out after a group of artists published an open letter to the director of the National Museum of Fine Arts to demand that their works stop being exhibited both physically and virtually until they release Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara from Calixto Garcia.
The letter has been signed so far by 13 artists: Tania Bruguera, Sandra Ceballos, Tomás Sánchez, Marco Castillo, the duo Celia and Yunior, Reynier Leyva Novo, Cirenaica Moreira, César Leal, Jorge Luis Marrero, Juan Pablo Ballester and Jorge Wellesley.
Apart from the “immediate release” of Otero Alcántara, the artists demand “guaranteed access for his family, friends and colleagues to his residence” in Old Havana, “to check his physical and mental health,” as well as the elimination of the police cordon “that has been in place since November 2020.”
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