Urgent: The Status of Jailed Cuban Artist Luis Manuel Otero

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara. Foto: Time

By Javier Moreno Diaz

HAVANA TIMES – On the morning of February 6, a piece of news chilled the blood of many dignified Cubans. In the Guanajay maximum security prison, Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, activist for the rights of independent artists and co-founder of the San Isidro Movement, had once again started a hunger strike. It was due to the constant arbitrariness of state security, the pressures to which the political prisoners are subjected and as a way of protesting against the lack of concern of state institutions and the government.

On the Facebook profile of Claudia Genlui, an activist and partner of Luis, she made it clear the unjust and cruel repression to which those who, like Luis, have suffered arbitrary sentences since the July 11, 2021 protests that shook all of Cuba. With shouts of Patria y Vida thousands of protesters made it clear they were fed up with the lies and strategies to keep the people asleep.

It was also learned that Luis’ request for parole, to which he is entitled, had been denied, another unfair act of the dictatorship that will not go unpunished.

On February 9, Claudia, also from her Facebook profile, announced that Luis Manuel had abandoned the hunger strike for health reasons and called to make the situation of Cuba’s political prisoners even more visible, wherever they are held either in low or maximum security jails.

International organizations are urged to review each case one by one and make the dictatorship pay for the damages caused, the pain, the separations.

It has been going on two years since many Cuban families found themselves fractured and in most cases with a member or an acquaintance sentenced to jail.

Until when?

The people endure but do not forget, and people like Luis Manuel today are a banner as well as Maykel Osorbo and so many others who are unjustly detained but not silenced.

These are the true leaders of the people, those who suffer, those who fight and do not give in. They will surely return to our streets sooner rather than later and their courage and integrity will make Cuba the country dreamed of by the heroes of independence, demystifying the masquerade of pseudo politics and demagogues.

Cuba waits, the land is ready.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times