Cuban dissident artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara begins 11th day of hunger strike in prison

Social Danger

From our Bureau of Socialist Compassion and Social Justice

He’s been in prison for six months without a trial — arrested for being a “social danger” — and concerns are now being raised about his health as he continues a hunger strike.

A top official of the U.S. State Department is among those calling for him and all other political prisoners to be released. But anyone familiar with Castro, Inc. knows that no such thing is going to happen.

Abridged and loosely translated from CiberCuba:

The United States government said Friday that it is “concerned about the health” of Cuban independent artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who has been on a hunger strike for 10 days in a prison on the island.

The Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the State Department, Brian A. Nichols, denounced in a Twitter post that the young man has been imprisoned since July 11 for his art and activism.

“The Cuban regime calls him a “social danger” and holds him without trial. We call on Cuba to respect its #HR and release all political prisoners,” the official said.

On Thursday, Nichols also expressed concern about the prosecution this week of 39 participants in the July 2021 protests and called on the Havana regime to release him.

This Friday the opposition San Isidro Movement (MSI), of which the artist is a part, also said they were very concerned about the young man’s incommunicado detention, and stated that he suspects that he is isolated as punishment for his protest.

He warned in this regard that in Cuban prisons strikes are considered indiscipline and in the face of a protest of this type, the usual procedure is solitary confinement and isolation of the prisoner.

Otero Alcántara, 34, is one of the most popular figures in Cuban activism: Last year he was nominated for the Cintas Foundation Scholarship, an organization that has supported the development of Cuban culture since 1963, while Time magazine included him on its prestigious list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2021.

He has been arrested more than 60 times in seven years of political activism, in addition to having been under police surveillance, a state of siege and suffered repeated service cuts in several of his telephone lines in recent months.

He has also been the victim of defamation campaigns in the national press, and violations of his privacy; suffered threats to friends, neighbors and relatives; received police beatings.

Whole story HERE in Spanish

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