Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara is Charged With New Crimes

Otero Alcántara during a live broadcast from his home in Old Havana, in May 2021. (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 September 2021 — The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who has now spent 53 days in prison, was charged with new crimes on Monday. The curator Claudia Genluí, a member of the San Isidro Movement (MSI), reported that Otero Alcántara is now being accused of public disorder, instigation to commit a crime and contempt.

The crimes were recorded in the document issued by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic in response to a change of precautionary measure requested by the artist’s lawyer, which was denied.

Before this change, in addition to contempt, the crimes of attack and resistance were those that appeared in file number 24, which Otero Alcántara shares with rapper Maykel Castillo, called Osorbo, imprisoned in Pinar del Río. Genlui points out that despite the new additions, the file remains the same.

Regarding the current situation of the artist’s criminal process, she told 14ymedio she is “very worried” because “he remains in the same circumstances” of uncertainty and without a trial date. She also said that Otero Alcántara’s lawyer, Clemente Morgado, filed a complaint on September 3 regarding the denial of the change of precautionary measure.

Genlui explained that the MSI leader is currently “isolated” in the Guanajay high security prison due to cases of covid-19 and the “dengue fever threat” inside the prison. “They only allow you a phone call twice a week for just three minutes,” she added.

In a post published on her Facebook, Genlui says that Otero Alcántara “is generally in good health,” remains “stable in spirit” and is “drawing.”

She noted that “he is an artist with no criminal record, who is being deprived of his freedom” only for “exercising his right to freedom of expression in force in the Cuban Constitution.” She also said that due to “the epidemiological situation,” as well as possible complications that may occur in these conditions, “Alcantara’s life is in danger” and pointed out that the Cuban Government was “solely responsible.”

The artist was arrested on July 11 when he joined the protests that took place in almost all the country’s provinces. In his case, he was in the Centro Habana area.

Other opponents arrested on that day and who are still in prison are Félix Navarro, arrested along with Armando Abascal, Francisco Rangel and Leilandis Puentes, accused of attack and public disorder. The dissident and former prisoner of the Black Spring, who leads the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for Democracy, is imprisoned in the Combinado del Sur in Matanzas.

The activist and Lady in White Saily Navarro Álvarez, Navarro’s daughter, asked for help to publicize the dangerous situation her father is in. In an audio broadcast by the former prisoner of the Black Spring, Ángel Moya, Navarro  Álvarez says that on September 3 they gave him a summons to appear at the police unit of the municipality of Perico, in Matanzas, where he currently resides.

Regarding the meeting with the authorities, the activist said that it was to let her know two things: that her precautionary measure of house arrest “could be revoked for her having violated it by leaving the municipality without asking for permission” and that her father was in good health.

However, Navarro Álvarez clarified that onAugust 17 her father told his family that if on August 22 they were not together, on the 23rd “he would be on a hunger strike.” Since that day they have not been able to communicate with him any more and she denounced that “the uncertainty and anguish of not knowing for sure” about his health continues.

According to the Cubalex legal advice center, the list of detainees in the protests reached 949 people from July 11 to date and reports that 437 protesters are still in jail.


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