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Information 'Torture': the Otero Alcántara Case

It is not the NTV, or the 'Round Table', or Humberto López who are presenting information, but avatars of State Security.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara.
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara. Diario de Cuba

They have Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara locked up in a hospital room, not in a cell in Villa Marista, but it is State Security that ended up disclosing his situation. Not the Noticiero Nacional de Televisión newscast, not  Mesa Redonda (Round Table), not Humberto López, but rather a State Security profile on social media, one "Guerrero Cubano", (Cuban Warrior) and some other similar avatars.

These spokesmen are superseding the regime's usual spokespeople, who transmit propaganda instead of information. In contrast, State Security does not seem interested in shaping opinion or imposing it, but rather in public intimidation. It is less concerned with conveying an official truth than with displaying power.

The propaganda of the National Television Newscast, however pedestrian, aspires to a certain verisimilitude. But when it is State Security minions who present the news reports, the truth, rather than silenced or replaced, is "tortured." That is, any pretense of verisimilitude is dispensed with.

Therefore, there is no need to blame State Security for a lack of professionalism for all these inconsistencies between one medical report and another, between one video and another. On the contrary, all this "sloppiness" is intentional. When, several weeks after confining him in a hospital, they exhibit an ailing Otero Alcántara and claim that he receives the finest care, they do so so that we notice the tremendous incongruity between the images and words, this divide leads us to suspect something terrible, and we are scared. When these henchmen take charge of information, they extend torture to the audience.

The relevance of the Otero Alcántara case can be appreciated by the regime’s exclusion of its usual spokesmen, and the case being placed in the hands of State Security. It is like when, in a fight between gangs, the leader has his minions step aside and takes care of something himself. To this must be added their decision to condemn Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara to a state of limbo.

We know, from examples as disparate as Dante's first circle of Hell, and the prison at the Guantanamo Naval Base, that those destined for limbos are beings difficult to fit in a certain theology or legality. The fact that, in this case, the limbo consists of a hospital room, and there are medical personnel willing to be complicit in this, reveals how macabre the Cuban health system is.
We do not know what kind of treatment Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara may be receiving at the Calixto García University Hospital.

The authorities that call him a patient are the same ones that pass off  vaccine candidates as Covid-19 vaccines, and calls those who are nothing more than subjects of an ongoing experiment (good or bad) "immunized". The Cuban health system treats Otero Alcántara, who was, effectively, kidnapped, just as it does a population of hostages. Whether through repression, or propaganda, it does not care.

It is significant that the facility chosen by State Security to keep Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara in limbo is a teaching hospital. A detail like this allows one to get an idea of the training of future specialists, whom they habituate to the existence of cases in which the treatment depends not on the clinic, but rather political instructions.

The Otero Alcántara case has turned a Havana hospital into a torture center, and State Security into an information agency.

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