Luis Manuel Otero

By Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara (El Estornudo)

Photos: Anyelo Troya

HAVANA TIMES – There is a moment in a political struggle where nothing happens by chance.

Totalitarian states build reality. They manufacture lives, also deaths.

I’m not afraid of death, but the supposed accident by which that death could occur.

De-politicizing death is the best way to nullify yourself as an individual.

I don’t think the power holders wanted me dead in the days of my hunger strike, because control belonged to me.

My body was loaded with political significance; I had snatched the threads of the story from them.

That happens when you get ahead. Since I understood the importance of being on the front end of events, I try to always stay ahead of the dictatorship. Two steps further.

It takes effort, concentration, but it is possible. It is what you do when you escape to freedom.

The hunting dogs and the overseers are after you. They bark, yell, make noise, but they can’t see you. They don’t know who you are, nor understand where you are.

These dark, blurry and tragic images capture that possible end state.

Because the accidental ways in which I can die are ways the power holders have already considered, a “coincidence” that the god of the dictatorship has meticulously woven.

For example, if tomorrow I go outside and someone attacks me, that attack would not be unplanned. Behind the campaign to discredit, is an effort to promote hate towards me, amplified by television and the other state media, which would explain the criminal act.

They are not assumptions, but possibilities that I also think about a lot. Outcomes that I don’t want, but that I can’t get out of my head. Things you imagine when you get deep into the political fight.

All those deaths are behind art. That’s where I am ahead.

I am black, I am an artist. Everything that the dictatorship is planning to do to me can do nothing against my imagination.

Read more from Cuba on Havana Times.


2 thoughts on “There Are Many Ways to Die by Accident

  • There are pros and cons to having a creative mind!

    In looking at this situation from afar, I have to wonder: If you had an “accident,” what would be the end result? Would you become a martyr for a cause that is not supported by those who might wish you ill?

    I wish well.

  • Very impactful. Thank you for sharing.

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