Two Brave Cubans on Trial: Art Is Power & Stirs Consciences

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES – Luis Manuel Otero and his colleague Maykel Osorbo are being prosecuted today in another mockery of universal justice by the Cuban authorities. Their real crime is defending freedom of expression and creation, something that the Cuban regime fears to the limits.

It is a staging, with fabricated charges, after almost a year punished in prison in subhuman conditions. Everyone knows that the sentences will come from the highest level of the Communist Party / Government, seeking to crush any dissenting voice to their repressive policies.

Looking back

A couple of days ago I received two photos from a friend. One was taken in 2009 when, while visiting the houses of different Havana artists, he met Luis Manuel by chance as a sculptor apprentice.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara in 2009. Photo: Rafiki

Six years later my friend returned to visit Cuba and visited Luis Manuel’s house/studio in the poor neighborhood of San Isidro. The artist showed him his most recent work and gave him a small keepsake.

In the following years, this house, headquarters of the San Isidro Movement, was brazenly invaded by State Security to steal Luis’ works and to interrupt hunger strikes.

While the beautiful city falls to pieces and the residents stand in endless lines to get something to eat, the machinery of injustice spends unlimited resources to punish any invented enemy.

Today I wish Luis Manuel and Maykel a lot of strength with hugs for their family, friends, and colleagues.

Art is power and stirs consciences.


Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times