**PEN America experts are available for interviews in English and Spanish//Los expertos de PEN América están disponibles para entrevistas en inglés y español.**

(New York, NY) – Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) and PEN America are deeply alarmed by the
disappearance and presumed detention of independent Cuban multidisciplinary artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara. Julie Trébault, ARC director, issued the following statement:

“Otero Alcántara, who has vocally mobilized against Decree 349, a 2018 regulation that gives Cuban authorities sweeping powers to regulate creative expression and the cultural sector at large, vanished on Monday after being summoned by state security forces. His arrest coincided with the official visit of the King and Queen of Spain to the island. His whereabouts remain unknown, as do details about his arrest and detention. In recent months, the artist has reportedly been detained arbitrarily on 14 different occasions. These recurrent attacks normalize injustice and show the lengths to which Cuban officials will go to silence dissent, terrorize artists, and limit freedom of expression. We call on the Cuban government to disclose Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara’s whereabouts and detention status and to release him immediately.”

PEN America leads the Artists at Risk Connection, a program dedicated to assisting imperiled artists and fortifying the field of organizations that support them. If you or someone you know is an artist at risk, contact ARC here.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, sfee@pen.org, +1 202 309 8892