Life of opposition activist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is in danger in the hands of State Security in Havana

Press advisory

Life of opposition activist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is in danger in the hands of State Security in Havana

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Washington, DC, May 3, 2021 Contact: John Suarez (612) -367-6845

Center for a Free Cuba (CFC). The life of opposition activist and independent artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is in imminent danger in Cuba. State Security agents took him from his home on Sunday, May 2 and transferred him to the Calixto García Hospital located in the Cuban capital according to official sources, however, his real condition and location have not been confirmed by his family or close friends. This secretive situation has triggered the suspicion of human rights organizations and their defenders outside the Island, as well as within the country.

“In the past, the Calixto García Hospital and other Cuban hospitals have been the scene of the death of other opponents under the control of the agents of the Ministry of the Interior, as was the case of the leader of the Ladies in White Laura Pollán Toledo in October 2011. The agents of the political police isolate the person, do not allow the entry of their relatives or friends, and the treatment they apply or the one they stop applying to lead them to death is unknown. There are numerous cases of unexplained deaths in hospitals on the Island under the custody of State Security. Another case was that of the blind opponent Sergio Díaz Larrastegui in April 2012,” explained Janisset Rivero, who for years has documented these cases and is a collaborator of the Center for a Free Cuba.

In both cases, that of Pollán and that of Díaz Larrastegui, whose homes were headquarters in Havana of important human rights organizations, their deaths meant the closure of the headquarters and a severe blow to the civic movement.

“In the case of Otero Alcántara, his home is the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement, an organization that in recent months has raised its voice in favor of freedom of expression on the Island, achieving numerous spontaneous and organized demonstrations in favor of their demands. The regime that has brought this activist to the brink of death cannot be trusted to now want to save him. We must demand that his family or friends can see him and verify his situation,” said John Suárez, Executive Director of the CFC.

Many activists such as Anamely Ramos have demanded from the Island that Otero Alcántara’s life certificate be given, fearing that at this moment he is under the control of repressive organs and in total isolation. The answer has been silence.

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