Today, June 28, 2013, Angel Santiesteban-Prats finishes four months incarcerated in the Castro concentration camp 1580, El Pitirre, San Miguel Del Padron, Havana. There have been 121 days plus nights in which they have not even managed to diminish his optimism.
The same four months in which the dictatorship of the younger of the Castros has continued tarnishing with more blood his own criminal record, for which sooner or later, he must account to Justice. And they will come to that examination, from the most servile henchmen to the highest responsible for the systemic violation of all human, civil and political rights, that keep as prisoners all the inhabitants of the Island, in their streets as if there were free, in their concentration camps, doubly vulnerable.
In these four months, the jail system was “visited” by a court of eunuchs costumed as journalists, who went out to tell the world how beautiful, dignified, clean and happy those same prisons are that serve as a bonfire of liberty, of dignity, of humanity.
The Island of Happiness that the Castro brothers kidnapped and to which they subjected as if they were dealing with their own fief, is in reality The Jail Island. Never in the history of humanity was a so limited geography known to have such a concentration of jails. Is it possible that so few question why Cuba has 545 prisons in a geographical area that barely reaches 110,860 square kilometers? As point of reference, Spain has 504,645 square kilometers and 113 penitentiaries.
After that tour by “militant” journalism that the jails managed April 10, the penitentiary system was put to examination by the Counsel of Human Rights on May 1, and in spite of having received 292 recommendations, the ambassador of the regime before the United Nations in Geneva, Ana Rodriguez Camejo, had the impertinence to say that she will accept “a broad group of recommendations” and implement them, “according to our possibilities and the evolution of circumstances” and that there is a “minority group (of recommendations) unacceptable to Cuba,” for being “slanted and politicized” and whose central objective is to “discredit” the system. Of course that refers to the topic of political prisoners, whose existence is demonstrated by this affirmation itself, and with the objective facts about them that the human rights organizations collected which reveal the size.
Currently in Cuba there are 93 political prisoners in jail, plus the 16 that find themselves released on parole. That figure indicates that their numbers have doubled in the last year. The number of arbitrary detentions has also grown in a grotesque manner — reaching an increase of 50%, no more nor less, since the year before.
These are objective and empirically demonstrated acts, with photographs and videos that fortunately — thanks to new technologies — leave Cuba to show the world and reaffirm what we all know: that Cuba is drowning under a cruel dictatorship that already passed its half century of existence, but — and even more important — so many political prisoners are jailed and so many arbitrary detentions are carried out because the people’s discontent with tyranny and the miserable life to which they are condemned is greater. The increase in repression and abuses is directly proportional to Cuba’s craving for justice, liberty and dignity. It is happening as it did with the Church in the Middle Ages with witches: the more they burn, the more appear. The path of Cubans to freedom is one with no turning back, and the arrival of freedom is every day closer.
Angel is one of some many political prisoners in Cuba; but he is also the only writer incarcerated for political reasons in all the American continent, which is a great shame for the Castro regime.
Angel decided to commit himself to his fatherland and to defend the highest values of the human condition, governed by the principles of José Martí. He decided to do it knowing that he not only would lose his “privileges” as an intellectual of officaldom, but also he knew that he would possibly lose his liberty, as has occurred.
Today he lives incarcerated with a dignity that few can carry out and that greatly infuriates his jailers.
Again we hold Raul Castro Ruz responsible for the integrity of Angel and of all his companions who also suffer harassment and punishment for being nearby and being in solidarity with him. The eyes of the world are on Angel and on those who harass, intimidate, threaten or mistreat him. The times have changed, and they can no longer keep the truth from being known. And here we are — his friends and relatives — always ready to denounce to all the highest and the most minimal abuse.
We also reiterate to Raul Castro that Angel not only should not be a prisoner but also he is in a maximum security prison to which he was taken in a violent and illegal manner. We demand that he be returned to La Lima until they recover common sense and understand that they should give him a trial with all the due process that he never had. They must understand that all the evidence in the rigged trial and the complete file are at the mercy of the world, which places the Castro judicial system at the lowest level before the concert of civilized nations.
And we demand freedom for all the political prisoners. We hold Raul Castro responsible for the lives and integrity of them all and remind him that a woman gave life to him, too, that wherever she may be, she contemplates with shame and disgust what he is doing to the brave Lady in White Sonia Garro.
The friends and relatives of Angel Santiesteban-Prats
Translated by mlk
28 June 2013