The Current Status of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara’s Health / Cubalex

Garotte Vil Performance by Luis Manuel Otera Alcántera (Democratic Spaces)

Cubalex, 10 May 2021 [please note date*] — We present a summary of our report, which you can read in its entirety at this link.

The situation that Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is going through is the result of the unequal relationship between the power of the State and that of the citizen who expresses disagreement with government decisions and demands respect for and the guarantee of fundamental rights.

The State abuses its power, and one example of this is that on May 2, after being on a hunger and thirst strike for a week, Otero Alcántara’s home was raided and he was forcibly transferred to the “General Calixto García” University Hospital, where he has been forced to abandon his strike, based on the medical treatment that was imposed on him, contrary to the Declaration of Malta, which the government claims to respect.

Previously, the State itself had denied on more than one occasion that the strike was real. The denial remains when they allege that Otero has a state of “self-reported voluntary starvation” and, paradoxically, has been confined and incommunicado for 9 days, under the supervision of a “multidisciplinary team that guarantees the recovery of his state of health.” The last note from the Provincial Health Directorate, the only source of partial information available, insists that he has recovered calories and that a dermatologist gave him “a treatment,” without explaining which treatment and the reason for it.

The institution violated his right to medical self-determination, by not allowing him to voluntarily choose his admission, treatment, and the doctors who would attend him, functionaries of the State: Dr. Carlos Alberto Martínez Blanco, director of the hospital, deputy to the National Assembly and member of the Council of State, and Dr. Ifrán Martínez Gálvez, deputy director of the hospital, who represents himself as head of the specialized team that attends him personally, and even walks with the patient through the hospital complex, on camera. They also violated his right to informational self-determination when they disseminated the medical results from his clinical record through official media, presumably without his consent.

Currently, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara remains incommunicado and only the official version is known without being able to verify with him or his relatives who have had closer contact, because the government refuses to provide detailed information to the press, to his friends, and to the San Isidro Movement that represents Luis Manuel. Meanwhile, lack of transparency continues to reign in Cuba and the principle of maximum disclosure is violated, by preventing access to information, contrary to international standards for the protection of human rights.

Translated by Tomás A.

*Ed. note: We currently are ’catching up’ on translations of Cubalex and reaching back to earlier months. Please note the dates on these posts.  Thank you.