For ‘Health Reasons’ Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara Suspends His Hunger Strike

The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 9 February 2023 — Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who is imprisoned in the maximum security prison of Guanajay (Artemisa), informed the curator Claudia Genlui that “for health reasons” he decided to suspend the hunger strike that he had been on for nine days to demand his freedom.

The information was shared by the curator through the Facebook account with the name of the founding artist of the San Isidro Movement (MSI). In the publication, it is made known that this strike that began on February 1, is the fifth that he has taken on as an “exercise of protest and act of desperation in the face of the arbitrary acts, blackmail and limitations with which the Cuban State Security tries to torture him.”

The activist denounced that the regime’s threats against Otero Alcántara have been constant and on several occasions the Government has informed her that “he will not leave prison nor will he be treated as a common prisoner” and all for the fact of thinking and being consistent with his ideas of freedom

The MSI leader told Genlui that “his situation inside the prison is more rigorous and unfair,” and that the treatment he receives is the one that “is given to a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment.” Although he acknowledged that he is exhausted, “his mind and body try to resist.” He knows that it is important to stay alive, “because this is not over. Cuba will be free and he will be there to see it,” adds the curator.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara “is in critical condition and has lost vision in one eye,” denounced the Cuban lawyer Faisel Iglesias, based in Puerto Rico , through a live broadcast. In Cuba “there are no procedural guarantees” and that for this reason Otero Alcántara “is in jail without the due process of law having been complied with,” said the defender, noting that the artist did nothing more than “express himself freely.”

The lawyer lamented that on the Island “no one can be guaranteed due process because for it to exist there must be a Constitution legitimately endorsed by the citizens in a free State, without pressure, without any coercion.” Iglesias commented that in Cuba “no vote is free, everyone is coerced by pressure from the party by pressure from the State.”

He asked to echo the injustice that Otero Alcántara lives through and to mobilize the Cubans who are in Miami and those who meet at the Versailles restaurant in that city. “Hold demonstrations in front of the different consulates of the countries that have diplomatic relations with Cuba, at the consulate of Spain, at the consulate of the Dominican Republic. Please, demand and advocate for the freedom and health of Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara.”

For her part, Genlui warned last Tuesday that the artist “could barely speak.” And she denounced State Security for “ignoring once again” the striker status of the leader of the San Isidro Movement. “It is the responsibility of the dictatorship, whatever happens to Luis Manuel.”

Last June, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic released a statement from the Popular Municipal Court of Centro Habana in which it was reported that the sentence for Otero Alcántara was five years in prison for the crimes of outrage against the symbols of the homeland, contempt and public disorder.

The artist has been in jail since July 11, 2021, when he was arrested before being able to join the spontaneous anti-government protests that took place that day throughout the Island.


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