Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Message from a Cuban jail: Cuban dissident Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara called Claudia Genlui from the maximum security prison in Guanajay today


Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara spoke with Claudia Genlui Hidalgo

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is one of the leaders of the San Isidro Movement, and his home in the San Isidro neighborhood is the headquarters of the above mentioned movement. Over the past four years, Amnesty International has on several occasions recognized Luis Manuel a prisoner of conscience. His most recent arbitrary detention began on July 11, 2021 and is ongoing. He turned 34 years old on December 2, 2021.  Claudia Genlui Hidalgo is an artist in her own right, an art curator, and girlfriend to Luis Manuel.

The following text was taken from a Twitter thread from the San Isidro Movement posted today at 6:33pm, and translated here to English to reach a wider audience.

#ATTENTION| Claudia Genlui Hidalgo: "Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara just called from the maximum security prison in Guanajay, where he has been for more than 6 months. It may be the last call he makes for a while. He called to briefly but firmly communicate that he is at his limit.
That from today he rejects all the "rights" that a prisoner has because he shouldn't be one. His body is imprisoned due to an injustice, but his mind has always been free and he wants to keep it that way.
From today, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara refuses of his own will to receive visits, food, calls. He is finished. He knows, like all of us, that being in prison is not a dignified option, that his freedom is being manipulated by State Security and that they are guarding him as currency of exchange. The path that Luis Manuel has followed is not for that, he will only leave #Cuba as a free citizen when he decides and with the availability to return when he wishes.That is a right.

He was hoping that the last request to change the measure submitted would be approved. Luis, as he says: "He has not stolen bread from any Cuban child", quite the opposite. By denying this request, the regime demonstrates that its intention is to humiliate him, treat him like a criminal when he is not. I want it to be clear that Luis Manuel's life is at the limit. THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A SECOND CHANCE TO SAVE HIM, he himself has said ENOUGH. 
It was what I felt in his brief words, but above all in the tone of his voice and even in the dense silence that surrounded him. "Tell them I love them all," he told me.
The Cuban government is slowly assassinating an artist who has only shown us light, who has constructed that hope to which we cling to today. Now more than ever he needs us, he trusts us."  
Anamely Ramos González, also of the San Isidro Movement, tweeted about Luis Manuel's call minutes earlier today at 6:08pm. She said that "Luis Manuel Otero has been unjustly imprisoned for six months. Today he said enough. He called to report that he will no longer accept visits, food delivery, or calls. His body is imprisoned but not his mind. His life is in danger and the fault lies with the Cuban State. #FreeLuisma " Below is the Tweet in the original Spanish.

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