Artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is set to be transferred to the Guanajay maximum security prison, facing charges of contempt, resistance, and assault.
“Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is being detained solely for peacefully expressing his ideas through his art and for his nonviolent defense of human rights,” the open letter reads.
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has been without food or fluids for seven days after Cuban police raided his home and took several artworks.
Seven of them have been on hunger strike for more than 140 hours after police intercepted attempts by a neighbor to drop off food and supplies.
Bruguera was arrested in her home under pretenses of “pandemic contagion,” preventing her from attending a demonstration against the killing of Hansel Ernesto Hernández Galiano.
The artist has been detained over 20 times in two years. But this time, his colleagues on the island mobilized in his defense — and that made all the difference.
Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who was arrested last Sunday while on his way to an anti-censorship protest, could face between two and five years in prison.
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara was planning to attend a “kiss-in” convened by the local LGBTQ+ community in response to the government’s censorship of a film broadcast.
The treatment of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara is emblematic of a struggle in Cuba over who defines and controls art and culture.
Numerous Cuban artist-activists were detained for protesting Decree 349, but have been released as the law is reassessed. Cuban Vice Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas tells the Associated Press that more precise regulations will be published in upcoming days, but that “artistic creation is not the target.”
Cuban artists were arrested after planning a sit-in at the Cuban Ministry of Culture to protest Decree 349, which puts in place unprecedented censorship of the arts and will take effect December 7.
While governments and the media may tout the reforms in Cuba, the reality for artists on the island nation is far more precarious.