The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, described this Monday as “shameful” the concerns of the United States government for the health of the dissident artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, admitted to a hospital after having declared a hunger strike, while Washington maintains its blockade against the island.

“What shameful concerns for officials of the most powerful nation on the planet that, viciously, condemns more than 11 million Cubans to hunger and scarcity. # NoMásBloqueo #CubaViva ”, He said Diaz-Canel on his Twitter account.

Otero Alcantara he went on a hunger and thirst strike for eight days to demand the return of his works that were stripped from him by Cuban security agents. In the early hours of Sunday he was transferred to a hospital in circumstances not specified by the communist government.

On Saturday, Julie Chung, a US State Department official, expressed on Twitter her concern for “the activist’s well-being” and called on “the Cuban government to take immediate measures to protect his life and health.”

The United States has maintained a strict embargo on the island since 1962, which, according to the Cuban authorities, is the main cause of the great reigning economic problems.

Democratic President Joe Biden has not touched the more than 240 measures that his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, added to the restrictions of the blockade, at a time when Cuba faces a tough situation due to the collapse of the GDP of 11% in 2020 and for the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alcántara, 33 years old and leader of the opposition movement of artists and university students San Isidro (MSI), was pointed out by the state news program as leading a political manipulation and receiving money and instructions from abroad.

The representation of the European Union in Cuba also showed its concern about Otero’s situation on Sunday: “Now we hope that he will soon recover his health and be able to enjoy his rights as a citizen and as an artist,” he said on his Facebook page.

The information center of the Calixto García Teaching Hospital, where the artist was admitted, declined to offer any information about his state of health requested by AFP via telephone.

But Enix Berrío, Otero’s uncle, complained that the family has been excluded. “The right of the family to accompany Luis Manuel is imposed. They cannot exclude the family from this process. It is also a right of the family to be assisted and valued by an independent doctor, “he said on the MSI Twitter account.

The doctors at the hospital to which he was transferred said that the tests carried out on Otero “indicate that there was hydration and nutrition.”

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