Despite Promised “Reform,” Cuban Regime Still Assaults Dissident Artists | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

Despite Promised “Reform,” Cuban Regime Still Assaults Dissident Artists

DECEMBER 21, 2017


VOC calls on the communist regime in Havana to release Lia Villares and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara

Once again, the so-called “reforms” of the Cuban communist regime have proven to be empty promises. Raúl Castro and his henchmen still brutally suppress freedom of thought and freedom of expression on the island of Cuba.

On Wednesday, December 20th, seven dissident artists were arrested while preparing for a staging of the play 4.48 Psychosis—adapted to depict the horrendous abuses and political “punitive psychiatry” currently being practiced by the Castro regime in the Mazorra mental hospital. Of these artists, two remain incarcerated: Lia Villares and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

VOC Executive Director Marion Smith offered the following statement: “We call on the Castro regime to release Lia and Luis immediately. The persecution of artists, actors, and free thinkers for the content of their art has no place in the twenty-first century.”

Smith added: “Is this the kind of behavior that the United States and the world should expect from a regime that we keep being told has ‘reformed’? Clearly not. The communists in Havana today are the same as they always have been—brutal thugs who are afraid of free speech, free thought, and free people.”

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was authorized by a unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.


To request an interview with Marion Smith, please contact Frank Schembari at