26 January 2020: Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara was released after police detained him near his girlfriend Claudia Genlui Hidalgo’s home. Alcántara had planned to accompany Hidalgo to the José Marti Airport in La Habana as she intended to depart for a work trip, reported AND Cuba.
Hidalgo published a post on her Facebook page in which she reveals that Alcántara did not show up at their scheduled meeting point at the airport.
“Artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara is missing. He was kidnapped by the political police,” said Hidalgo in her Facebook post.
El artista Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara está desaparecido. Fue secuestrado por la policía política. Solo 10 minutos…
After his release, the artist shared a statement via Hildago’s Facebook saying that “I was kidnapped at the corner of Claudia Genlui’s house when I was ready to accompany her to José Marti Airport since she had to travel.”
Both Alcántara and Hidalgo are members of San Isidro Movement – a group repressed by the authorities for the group’s criticisms of state policy in cultural matters.
Alcántara was the most arbitrarily detained artist in Cuba in 2019.
In the joint statement, Freemuse and CADAL expressed their concern about the resurgence of repression of referents of Cuban independent culture and declare their solidarity with the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara.