Angel Santiesteban remains not only a prisoner in solitude, but also kidnapped and incommunicado in the hands of the repressive forces of the Castro dictatorship, that doesn’t know how it is teaching the world how it systematically violates the law within the island, how it violates the civil and political rights, humiliates and impoverishes the Cuban people who have supported it for more than half a century, how to mock all international treaties, all covenants, all protocols.
And for all this, the reward is shaking hands, firming up trade agreements, being given the presidency of CELAC. Meanwhile, about 120 political prisoners are, like Angel, caged at the mercy of hired murderers of the dictator Raul Castro.
Those who are locked up are those they have not been able to blackmail, intimidate or break.
This post, that Angel sent me a few days before being “kidnapped” and confined to the military facility, where he is kept in complete isolation, is the strongest evidence that they had been preparing further punishment for him after his having refused to accept on July 4, on the last visit he received from the State Security, his “freedom” in exchange for giving up his political position.
Regular Tenant of the Punishment Cell
Being consistent with the real reasons that I am imprisoned, which are my ideals, my desire to see my country free, my longing for the dream of José Martí to be fulfilled once and for all, and to enjoy a democratic system, where people actually make decisions, and the President is just the person elected to achieve the desires of Cubans; and not by the cowardly and badly staged theater that the government wanted to make the world believe, which I was not the first nor the last to suffer, my duty is to denounce the abuses and human rights violations committed in the prison system of the Island.
While that dream is on the way, we must first end the nightmare imposed on us by the Castro brothers.
They’ve made a habit of putting me in the punishment cell; they always find a “reason,” and not even my family knows because they released me Thursday before the giving me the three weekly telephone minutes granted by the regime. So, while I’m in the cell, I take advantage of it to interview the others being punished, and this is how I learn what’s happening in the prison.
As I already know their game, when they need me to stay in the cell they provoke one of the “indisciplines” that they punish, like saying “down with the dictatorship” among other truths, and at the time of the cunt, they moved me there.
There I was able to talk to a man beaten for falling asleep in the dining room, I could see him as he walked by on the way to doctors and his face, literally, resembled that of a monster.
I also learned of an inmate imprisoned for 23 years, named Miguel Veloz Vento, 48. He was sentenced for accusing a police officer of corruption in the municipality of Mariel, and the truth is that the officer, the prosecutor and the judge, after talking in the office of the latter, changed the legal order, and the accuser became the accused, with a request for six years, there at the trial, and they forced on him an inexperienced lawyer, whom they intimidated and she bowed to the pressure of the judge.
Right now, Miguel Veloz’s life is compromised by a hunger strike. When he is in serious condition, they take him to a special room they’ve prepared for these protests in the Combinado del Este prison, and there his light will go out, without the world knowing that he is another of the many who die in that place.
Now it only remains to pray for Michael, but if we humans join together, in addition to prayer, in a cry for the ending of the dictatorship, then it will indeed be a great tribute to those who died anonymously in the totalitarian regime of the Castro brothers: Down with the dictatorship!
Ángel Santiesteban Prats
Prison 1580. July 2013
7 August 2013