Today, August 28, marks six months since Angel was unjustly imprisoned by the Castro dictatorship, after their having invented crimes he did not commit, making use of his former wife and the mother of his son to perform a show trial in which they were unable to prove absolutely any of these alleged crimes for the simple reason that he did not commit them. His sentence was based on the testimony of a handwriting expert who alleged that the “accused” was guilty of the crimes charged because he wrote in large and slanted print.
After the verdict which sentenced him to five years in prison, we have made public by various means what should have been sounding alarms in all the governments of the region that call themselves democratic and defenders of human rights, and Angel is deprived of his freedom and has been transferred arbitrarily between various prisons of the island, from which he has continued to report abuses and violations of civil and political rights that are committed in Cuba, especially now with the prison population.
The last transfer, carried out illegally even by Cuba’s own laws, occurred on the August. It was the surprise they had prepared for his birthday.
For five days he had literally disappeared, held incommunicado in an unknown location. Currentlywe only know it is in a site that has no name, a place that deals with the constructions of the Ministry of Interior and in which there are only twenty-two prisoners, including Angel. We also know that there are no visits allowed there, nor phone calls, because prisoners are entitled to a monthly pass to visit relatives.
All this we know from Angel himself who has managed to filter out a note, which I have posted on the blog. Officially the family has been informed of nothing regarding the transfer or the current status of Angel.
But, as we suspected would happen, they said that as Angel is not working, he has no right to the pass his companions were given on August 23. They have said that in his case they will alternate visits with passes, neither of which have happened, not even when they said they would award it, between August 2 up to today, the 28th, he is literally incommunicado, deprived of any right to receive news of his family, to be able to see them and set his mind at rest that they are in good condition, especially his children who both suffer from the lack of their dad.
We do not know what the political police is up to now that, as we have shown, they concocted the criminalization of Angel to convict him like a common criminal. On July 4 they visited him in the 1580 prison and tried to persuade him to abandon his political position and to record a video promising to cease his opposition in exchange for his freedom. When he refused, he was urged to avail himself of his diplomatic “friends” to grant him a visa to leave the country, to which he also refused.
These two proposals are a clear assumption by the government that Angel is not a common criminal, but a political prisoner. So far there is no record of violent attackers of homes who have been tempted to renounce their political positions in exchange for their release. But Cuba and its dictatorship never cease to amaze for their crass use of the obvious and ingenuous,which makes us wonder if they are fools, or they think we are as foolish as the rest.
The truth is that almost after Angel received the “generous” proposal from the political police, they have moved him in this way not only illegal, but extremely suspiciously, and we know they have something up their sleeve.
The Application for Review of Judgment has been submitted and there is no response from what calls itself Justice in Cuba. But as we expect nothing of a Regime in which justice is a subsidiary of political power, from outside we have not stopped for a moment to move through all possible channels, and international demands in favor of Angel ’s innocence are underway.
The eyes of the world are on Cuba and the dictator. The demands on behalf of Angel are traveling far, and the case of Angel too. We recall that a few months ago we pointed out that the political police hitman known as Camilo threatened to kill him, chased him through the streets of Havana and even maneuvered against Angel’s car to the point that there was almost an accident. There will be no possible and credible accident with Angel. We won’t fall for that while they keep attacking, harassing, repudiating, reprimanding the people who have decided to say, “Enough already!” Spanish Justice is investigating the murders of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero.
Every day, like wildfire, are published new assassination attempts against so many opponents, but the cowardice and desire for evil have no limits, to the point that they have dared to attack the daughter of Berta Soler, to attack Iris Tamara Perez Aguilera, wife of the well-known opponent Jorge Luis García Pérez — Antúnez — and against Rigorberto Rodríguez from the Christian Liberation Movement, which are the last three cases, reported this week.
We call upon Raul Castro Ruz to respect the rights of Angel Santiesteban Prats, to immediately release him while the review of his trial proceeds, which, if there is true justice in Cuba, will end with him acquitted. We also demand an end to this shameful situation of isolation and incommunicado in which they are keeping him. His voice will not be silenced because his blog will continue to speak for him, restoring the space for free expression that they have stolen from him.
Everything that can happen to Angel Santiesteban is Raul Castro Ruz’s sole and absolute responsibility.
Photo: Angel being threatened by State Security Agent Camilo