Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas in Cuba has no Carols, but Villains in Power

The majority of the Cuban community will celebrate Christmas and the advent of the new year, unaware that a political prisoner, David Piloto Barcelo, is serving his punishment in the worst conditions, for defending his unobjectionable right to choose a president, to openly criticize government conduct, to protest, to demonstrate, to join the party that better fits him, etc.

Possibly also, the majority of Cubans will die without testing the state of rebellion and liberty that being an activist in opposition to the dictatorship offers.  Piloto Barcelo practices it daily, his screams against the henchmen that mistreat us day after day in the prisons, could be heard in Prison 1580.

From my barracks, some thirty meters away from his, with several walls and roofs in between, his voice arrives full of truths against the executioners in each arbritray action or appearance.  His protest is constant, all in spite of his precarious health. He contracted tuberculosis in their cells, and not even that condition has impaired his upright posture as permanent opponent. His crime: demonstrating on “Revolution Plaza” and throwing leaflets demanding the freedoms of which they deprive us.

Some days ago Piloto Barcelo was transferred to Cinco y Medio Prison in Pinar del Rio. That is another punishment that he will have endure far from his family. What is left, because after the State Security threatened his mother, she suffered a heart attack, and it killed her. Now his sister will have to travel to that distant place in order to provide him with what is necessary to survive, because otherwise we die.

And it is not that being happy or eating turkey on Christmas is a crime; may those happy ones who manage it multiply until all Cubans can do it in their own land; but do not forget that someone suffers for you at this moment, and that he is also summoned, from wide ranging possibilities, to fight and give tribute to these human beings that have preferred the sacrifice before the pleasure.  And that self denial is for the good of all, because when Cuba is free, we will enjoy it equally.

Not forgetting Piloto Barcelo, Sonia Garro, Ramon Munoz, Armando Sosa Fortuny, Marcelino Abreu Bonora, Ernesto Borges Perez, Madelaine Lazara Caraballo Betancourt, Makiel Delgado Aramburo, Ivan Fernadez Depestre, Angel Frometa Lobaina, Allan Gross, Bismark Mustelier Galan, Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, to mention only a few of those among hundreds of prisoners confined plus those who are on parole and make the humiliating list of  political prisoners of the Regime recently “distinguished” for safeguarding Human Rights on the UN Council.

Even so, to everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Angel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton prison settlement.  December 2013.

Translated by mlk.

30 December 2013

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Christmas In Cuba:”Paradise” With Many Slaves / Angel Santiesteban

Enslaved prisoners

December 25th: The inmates of Cuban prisons have worked in the condition of slaves which they find themselves.

The Blockade: The Longest Genocide in History

 

For them there is no Christmas or New Year. All they will have is to exercise their muscles to fulfill the tough work which the regime obliges them to do.

At a recent meeting, a chief of prisons, publicly stated that he preferred working with prisoners versus civilians, because the latter left when they finished their 8-hour working day, while the prisoners could go many days with no rights, not even to protest, infinitesimal pay, and cheap food. Compare that to what the Cuban officials say in Geneva, that Cuban prisoners are respected with regards to salaries and hours, when from dawn to dusk the sweat runs down their poorly paid and badly fed backs.

After several days with a menu of rice, soup and eggs alternating with hash, they offer them for Christmas dinner, rice, peas and eggs. They don’t protest because the blackmail is constant. If they don’t go along they’re sent to closed prisons, lose their passes and the annual two months credit, and even the possibility of getting out on parole when they’ve served half their sentence.

The only thing that remains is ability to work, bite your tongue, and every time you have the opportunity to take revenge, do your work badly.

After every sunrise they look at the horizon, and all they see is permanent darkness.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton Prison settlement. December 2013

Translated by: Shane J. Cassidy

27 December 2013

Raul Castro Feels the Silk of Obama’s White Gloves / Angel Santiesteban

Video capture

I’m sure that it must have been embarrassing for U.S. president Barack Obama to have greeted the Cuban dictator, but I can’t but admit that it was a brave act: the delicate cross of the white gloves in the face of the adversary. The alternative would have left much to desire and been childish; in addition, the message then delivered in the words of President Obama, when he said that some leaders pay tribute to Mandela and reject the dissidence in their own countries, was the finishing touch, and a brutal one, to the delicate sequence of his greeting.

The event appears to me like a move in the diplomatic chess game, and history will remember the gesture positively. I recall a person who had an anthology about “the white gloved slap,” and certainly this will be added to his collection. And it reaffirms that there is contact between the two governments to solve some of the particular conflicts, such as the imprisonment of Alan Gross.

These are times of dialog; watching what is happening in Iran, Syria, and recently in Ukraine is imposing another logical order on these times. Hopefully the Cuban leader is included in President Obama’s invitation. It is a unique opportunity for a phone call, and then actions that determine a democratic will, like the ending of aggressions against the Ladies in White, the arrests and beatings of members of UNPACU (Cuban Democratic Union), and the free determination of programming without assaults for the activities of Estado de Sats. It should be followed by the release of Sonia Garro and her husband Ramón Muñoz, and the hundreds of opponents that await in Raul’s jails. The dictator Raul Castro can accomplish everything with single gesture of picking up his phone.

It is a unique moment that we can be sure he will not take advantage of, because the stubbornness of his brother, and now him, has not been in vain: a society has lost its values and the love of belonging to this country. However, the person who shone at that meeting was the man from the American side. There is no need to ask for a vote of confidence for him, his actions precede him.

Although circumstances sometimes inspire us to be extremists, we must pause, think with cool heads, and not let ourselves be carried away by emotions. More than a handshake, it was the iron fist in a velvet glove.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Prison Settlement of Lawton, December 2013

23 December 2013

The Times Call For A United Dissent / Angel Santiesteban

The 10th of December 2013 was the most striking example of how alone the Cuban opposition is. But I do not mean that external solitude, but the internal one, the separation that exists within the dissidence itself. We are our own worst enemies, and I recognize it with infinite pain.

As we walk separated we make the work of the dictatorship’s henchmen, to beat and isolate us, easier. The day we decide to put aside personal aims and, instead, focus on the roads together, channeling our energy in unity, then our cry for freedom will be more international in scope.

Shamefully we must recognize that personal ambition, the need to be recognized as individuals, and even the posture of those who are behind the economic aid sent by different routes to the opposition, through which they try to trip up one side, are guilty of the structural earthquake in the revolutionary block that seeks a democratic opening and impedes a broader reach for the cause of freedom.

There is a case of a prisoner before he entered prison whom Amnesty International recognized by phone who was part of the list of political prisoners whom they monitor in different countries; someone inside Cuba felt ignored and torpedoed this recognition and managed to get his name off the list. This is the extreme zeal shown by the opposition.

Another case is that of someone imprisoned for political activities who was linked to a dissidence group who was cut off by adverse opinions of another group in charge of legal matters which was representing him legally and before international Human Rights groups; he was thrown overboard. They felt he was no longer their problem. And in the midst of the crossfire, without any of the parties even asking him what he thought about it all. The truth is that they forgot their words of solidarity and promises to stand by his side in bad times to come for this prisoner.

These leaders and groups of the dissidence itself are saving State Security a lot of work as they busy themselves torpedoing the initiatives that didn’t come from them. Differences of opinions cause them to become alienated when, on the contrary, it’s healthy to think differently about how to achieve the same ends.

While these differences occur, we don’t need the repressors to do the work of rejection, to weaken the forces and ideas, as if all we all not all working toward the same ideal. We ourselves are doing that work. Hopefully we will manage to repress our impulses for personal recognition and understand that the truth and the way to achieve freedom is shared among all; and understand that it is more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve it separately.

When we are capable of working through these human miseries that hinder unity and clearly alienate and make the road to democracy rougher, then we will be capable of forcing the government to sit down to talk, and the world will see is and accept us as the political force we long to be. The nation’s founding fathers, with José Martí in mind, demand this concession. When we achieve this, we will then feel ourselves to be better human beings and better Cubans.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton prison settlement. December 2013

Elian: The Dauphin Not in Line / Angel Santiesteban

Elian Gonzalez and his mother

This teenager pampered and used by both sides, has had the sad task of erasing and criticizing the dreams of his mother. No mother makes plans for herself, and everything she did was to try to bring her child a future far from this dictatorship that today has been converted into a semi-literate, as can be corroborated in the Tweets that he has sent through the social networks from Ecuador.

He must have inherited the skewed intelligence of his father, who before turning himself into the most loving father ever, was a “fighter” who sold bottle of liquor that he smuggled out of the hotel where he worked in Varadero, and
someone who found it impossible to string together a sentence.

For the most part, those who pay little attention to studying engage in pillaging, and it was the crack he found that turned him into the political pawn of Fidel Castro, who dragged the Cuban people along, in exchange for the excessive expense of the rescue, he cried for the return of the child Elián.

Everyone knows that for Castro, the thing of least interest was the child. His obsession was always the power struggle with the United States and winning, discrediting them before international public opinion. And the caudillo saw the immediate opportunity that presented itself.

Now the dauphin has grown up in the dogmatism and interests of his father, who kept him in a military school (Camilitos), and having been certified as tames, it’s time to repay all the sleepless nights and expenses invested in him, or so think all his ideologues or trainers. They threw him into the ring of the World Youth and Student Festival in Quito to look horns with all who approach him with purposes other than the Cuban governments. Asked to comment on what happens, as if the fact of having survived his ordeal has immortalized him and turned him into an extraordinary being; because as far as studying goes, he shows no effort nor results. Fidel Castro shouldn’t have been allowed to do it so early, he should have demanded better preparation, and he should have send advisors and a personal guard to prevent access to his crazy views and his Tweets with serious spelling errors, that can’t be justified simply by the fashion of abbreviating or changing letters with similar sounds.

In the end, life has proved his mother right: the child would have no future here. The best thing they could do is hide him away again, and so save themselves from the ridicule and bad image, or return him to Miami to be educated.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Prison Settlement of Lawton. December 2013.

24 December 2013

Mandela Has Died: Hopefully One Day His Real Thoughts About The Dictator Fidel Castro Will Come To Light

I always assumed, out of respect and ethics, not to speak disparagingly of the dead. This time I will not. To this I will turn to a literary level suggestion. Nor will I agree to see the stains on the sun, when this African leader has filled pages of heroism for his pacifist stance toward which belonged to him in his own right, and which he demanded for his people; but trying to be consistent with our actions and thoughts, I remember I wrote a post of respect and sorrow to suffering Madiba, because he had not wanted to look at the pain of the Cuban people, and publicly assumed friendship with Fidel Castro, and his sympathy for the “revolution”: “I am a loyal man and I will never forget that in the darkest moments of our country in the fight against apartheid, Fidel Castro was on our side.”

He was also a friend of Saddam Hussein and the then head of state of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi (whom he awarded the highest distinction in South Africa, the Order of Good Hope), which he justified by saying: “I do this because our moral authority dictates that we can not abandon those who have helped us during the darkest moments in the history of our country. They provide us with both resources and instruction to struggle and win. And those South Africans who have scolded me for being loyal to our friends, can literally go to hell. ”

We must not fail to recognize that the struggle in Angola, particularly the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, helped crack the racist regime of South Africa in the last century, hence it is not wrong to say that Cuba influenced the defeat of apartheid, and consequently in the release from prison of which was later the first president democratically elected by universal suffrage in that country, which from that point of view, justified his gratitude to the Cuban leader and his dictatorship.

But ignoring the pains of Cubans and being a personal friend of the tyrant, will be one of the great contradictions that history may be responsible to explain, or make us understand. Arguments may then validate his attitude, particularly when he openly criticized Sani Abacha, a corrupt and brutal Nigerian dictator in the 90s.

What is certain and less understandable is that during his visit to Cuba, just to be consistent with his history and consistent with his thinking, he should have demanded the release of political prisoners and, in particular Mario Chanes de Armas, a former fellow soldier of Fidel, considered the world’s oldest political prisoner, who surpassed, at the time of Mandela’s visit, the time of imprisonment suffered by Mandela. However, he sank into the embrace of totalitarianism, something against which Madiba had fought and risked his life for.

Hopefully one day it will come out into the open, away from the grateful man, his real thoughts about the dictator Fidel Castro, and his decision to keep his criticism silent, because I refuse to think that a man of such magnitude, as was Nelson Mandela, has been honest and approved a process which is devoid of the slightest democracy, going in contradiction to his thinking and way of being: “I do not want to be presented in such a way that whitewashes the darker parts of my life”, he said. So God has taken him to that place which has been earned, and the Cubans too.

“Real leaders should be prepared to sacrifice everything for the liberty of their people”.

“To be free we must not only get rid of the chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“It is the duty of journalists to examine and bring to light the conduct of public figures”.

“If I am your leader, you must listen to me. If you do not want to listen to me, what you must do is abandon me as a leader”.

“Let freedom reign. The sun has never illuminated a more glorious human achievement.”

“To be free is not only free from one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”

“When I left the prison that was my mission: to liberate both the oppressed and the oppressor.”

The great reality, in which must those who supported him and his critics must agree, is that with his continuing struggle he managed to free his people; being selfish, he was interested in nothing else other than the welfare of his own.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton Prison Settlement. December 2013.

Editors note: Difficulties with the internet of our contacts in Cuba have been the reason why this post comes so late and when Mandela is no longer the “theme”. These are the same difficulties which I have mentioned in connection with the allegations published by Dania Virgen García on Cubanet on harassment and threats against Ángel Santiesteban which he has not bowed to.

Translated by: Shane J. Cassidy

19 December 2013

URGENT: Angel Santiesteban Harassed And Threatened In The Prison Of The Regime Which Is A Member Of The UN Human Rights Commission

The incommunication problems because of our lack of internet connections in Cuba have prevented us from offering, as it should have been, the inside scoop on the harassment and threats that the writer Ángel Santiesteban-Prats is suffering since early this month at the prison in which he is currently located. We were hoping to offer firsthand reports narrated by Angel, to those witnessed by the family who related this to us by phone.

But not even these communication problems have gotten the regime off the hook: the journalist Dania Virgen García sent from the island an article denouncing this new violation of the rights of Angel. It proves once again that there are many who are willing to stop the injustice committed against Angel from going unpunished.

We publicly thank Dania Virgen García and all those who have already reproduced this article in their blogs and other digital media.

The Editor

Here is Dania’s article:

Lambasting in the prison of the writer Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

by Dania Virgen García

Havana, Cuba, 17th of Decebmber 2013, Dania Virgen García/www.cubanet.org.-

In the penal settlement of MININT (Ministry of the Interior), in Lawton, in the Havana municipality of Diez de Octubre, where the writer Ángel Santiesteban-Prats is held, the re-educator tried to use the common criminals against him, this past 11th of December.

In the ten months that the writer has been held in the settlement, he has never participated in the physical countings, inspections or political activities.

On the day in question, Santiesteban remained in the barracks, when the prisoners were called to be counted. The re-educator, not seeing the writer, was annoyed and began to shout insults against him.

Then, from the mouths of the prisoners themselves, he knew that the re-educator had said he would put him “in a box”. The inmates assumed it was a reference to a coffin.

The reeducator said, moreover, that he would make a report to his superiors for his misconduct and that Santiesteban was not a political prisoner.

The inmates realized that reeducator had lied, because some of them have seen the writer’s ID card which has a green stripe that crosses from one side to another, and over it are the letters CR (counter-revolutionary), and under his picture the is the word “Warning”.

On the night of Friday 13, the settlement was visited by the new head of CETEM, Major Cobas, who tried to provoke and question the writer.

Since entering prison, the writer Santiesteban-Prats has never eaten prison stew; instead he eats the provisions which his family has sent him. He is never seen dressed in prison clothes and he has never accepted the personal supplies which are given to the prisoners.

He was withdrawn on April 9th this year, from the camp of forced labor known as CETEM, La Lima, located in the town of Guanabacoa, to Prison 1580, with the intent that he will not be present during the visit of international journalists who were manipulated by the regime officials.

Currently, the Casa de las Americas Prize for narrative maintains the same denial in the settlement.

Santiesteban thinks it was naive of the jailer or else that the new boss wants to provoke him, thus causing a prison indiscipline, accusing him of a crime to be able to send him to a closed prison. He suspects that the guards are being manipulated by the repressive Department 21 of the State Security.

Rest assured that whatever the intention, he will remain with his principles and ethics, which he has maintained in the 10 months he has been held for an alleged domestic assault that the trial could not prove.

Translated by: Shane J. Cassidy

17 December 2013

Communique: Castro, The Guardian Of Human Rights In The United Nations, Returns To Harass And Threaten Angel Santiesteban

Detention of a Woman in White, Havana, 10th of December 2013. (EFE)

                    

The detention of Antonio Rodiles.

A few days shy of ten months of wrongful imprisonment, after a show trial in which they have never proven one of the crimes brought against him because he never committed them, and without which the prosecution hasn’t responded to the appeal for a review of the case which submitted by the lawyer Amelia Rodriguez Cala on July 4th of this year, in the Lawton prison settlement where he is now detained since his birthday (August 2), Ángel has started being harassed and provoked by his jailers, in what we consider a clear strategy to push him to commit any misconduct that would justify a new transfer to a stricter regime of prison or which would allow his accusers to prove his supposed violent nature in the retrial, after which, if the Cuban legal structure works, they will be required to release him.

These are not isolated events: the re-educator had already tried to set the other prisoners against Ángel and told them he would put him “in a box”. Inmates assumed he was referring to a coffin, but another reading could be that Ángel would be “tamed with dirty or violent methods.”

Then on Friday the 13th during the night, the settlement was visited by the new head of CETEM, the Major Cobas, along with the aforementioned re-educator. Ángel recounts that: “The other night they searched me, there was the head of the camps, as the Chief re-educators, and I did not permit him, he opposed me then threw my stuff on the floor and kicked it so that I could not touch it. They told me that it was a serious breach of discipline and that they would make a record of it immediately. Then they took all of my belongings and searched them.”

How far do you plan to take the abuse dictator Raul Castro, now shelterd by the Human Rights Council of the UN? Shame is what all the member countries of the UN which sit on the Council should feel towards this systematic violator of all rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, who only seeks to extend his archaic but deadly reign of terror to the rest of the continent.

All international press with dignity, last December 10, the International Day of Human Rights, showed the world what the pathetic UN Council was trying to hide: the Cuban government celebrated that day by repressing its opponents in what is considered one of the darkest days of repression in Cuba. But the truth always triumphs, Mister Dictator. And Justice too, of that you should not have the slightest doubt. But if you do however, study some history.

I repeat what I have told you many times, you and the whole army of thugs at your service are absolutely responsible for the life and safety of Ángel Santiesteban-Prats. And remember that while the world is watching in horror as you send paramilitary mobs to beat up peaceful Ladies in White carrying gladioli as the only weapon and as you use children as shields in acts of repudiation against those who think differently and also serves as a witness of the most abhorrent scenes of physical violence against activists who, moreover, weren’t even demonstrating in the streets, as was the case in the door of the headquarters of Estado de Sats; that same world continues to recognize the talent of Ángel, rewarding him, as happened in September when he was awarded the Franz Kafka International Prize for Novels from the Drawer, and they paid tribute to him, just as he received a few days ago in Montreal. Oh how it hurts! Doesn’t it?

So do not forget this: You are responsible for what happens to Angel, and for the orders which you give to your henchmen. The world is watching.

The Editor

Translated by: Shane J. Cassidy

18 December 2013

Is Cuba Now Celebrated by UN As Custodian of Human Rights Despite Blatant Violations???

Detaining of a Woman in White, Havana, 10th of December 2013. (EFE)

We are all too aware Cuba’s dictatorship does not possess the slightest modicum of remorse or self-reproach, so we cannot ask such a State to behave honorably. The Cuban dictatorship is not worthy of respect.  Time to stop looking in vain for something that is just not there.   Best we just resign ourselves to reality.  If anything, the serious question that begs asking is why certain governments keep close ties to our two warlord brothers.  Not easy to stomach how some apparently respectable and democratic nations accept having Cuba take on the presidency of CELAC.*

Before allowing Cuba to become a bona fide member, the proper thing would be for the UN to kick Cuba out of the Human Rights Council.  Just how on earth has it become possible for the Castro brothers to — without any trace of unease or embarrassment —  shamelessly mock the international community of nations under the auspices of the UN?

In Cuba, on Human Rights Day what the State commemorates is the opportunity to violate as many human rights as possible.  On that Day, all manner of human rights are violated in a proud and peerless display of the Regime’s totalitarian access to military and judicial might. Dozens of women from the honorable roll call of Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) were beaten and arrested in front of people who remained silent for fear that any alliance to the voice of opposition — no matter how humane or reasonable — would spell reprisal from oppressive government forces.  Once again, people did nothing to stop the abuse and humiliation of their fellow citizens.  At the home of Antonio Rodiles — a.k.a. the SATS headquarters for open thought — Calixto Martínez, Kizzy Macías and Rodiles were all taunted and later arrested in order to contain the initiative for Human Rights meetings that openly challenge the regime and its totalitarian laws.

I am convinced and pray to God that one day soon we will be able to celebrate the Rights every human being born on this planet has the right to enjoy in order to be protected from Fascist states.  The very fascists states shaped after WWII but unknown in Cuba.

When that day dawns, we will exalt those brave enough to suffer mental and physical abuse under this regime.  And those who keep silent or feigned support to the current dictatorship will only feel shame.

Fair to say that despite the State’s hatchet men and the well-oiled machinery of repression, Human Rights Day on December 10 was still felt on the Island archipelago.

Down with Dictatorship!  Nation and Freedom!

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton Prison settlement. December 2013

Translator’s note: CELAC – Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.  An organization created to promote deeper intergration within the Americas.

Translated by: Shane J. Cassidy and JCD

16 December 2013

The Human Rights Party in Cuba / Angel Santiesteban

The great specialty of Cuban journalists is to inflate balloons, darken with dust clouds the reality of what happens in the archipelago, and, in passing, to lick the feet of the dictators.

The most outstanding in this work are those who write for the Granma newspaper, who were chosen for it precisely: manipulable beings who practice a profession that they denigrate, disrespect, and who some day will come to form part of the anthology of the unremarkable.

Oscar Sanchez Serra, in the publication last Friday on the 6th of this month, in the official press of the Communist Party, talking about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has once again demonstrated, by the cynicism with which he refers to the Magna Carta — our Constitution — calling it “dreams and illusions,” how disgusting it is to him to mention it.

For the Castro government, it has been a stumbling block for the more than half century that they have exercised its flagrant violation, like all dictators, of course. No economic achievement (there are none), nor social, justifies the least deprivation of Universal Rights, whether they comply with them all or violate them.

The hack believes that hiding in the historic calamities that happened in the world might justify those in our own country, and so, in that spectrum of examples that he mentions, like the Second World War until the more recent ones in Iraq and Libya, and world prostitution among other examples, he entertains the readers and makes them forget those that they violate before our eyes and remain silent about, like the beatings and arrests of the Ladies in White and the abuses against the opposition, in spite of recognizing that “Our little country is not paradise.”The reporter never mentions, I suppose out of respect for ridicule, that Cuba recently became part of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council; he does not even hint at national problems, hiding behind the manipulative machinery that the system exercises in the methods of revealing, in the best style of Nazi propaganda in the time of Hitler, and wears himself out citing what happens in the hemisphere, something like asking why ask for human rights for Cubans if the same thing happens in other parts of the world.  And with cynicism he jokes about the United Nations’ Magna Carta.

Really more than a journalist he lets himself be seen as an agent of State Security in the most humiliating service to the dictatorship.  It was like a prelude to what happens in the days preceding the commemoration of December 10th, International Day of Human Rights.

The arrests of the brave and peaceful Ladies in White once more occur for dozens of days before.  Recently, on her arrival at the airport from Europe, the leader Berta Soler was abused, harassed and abducted to be taken in an official car which left through one of the side doors, and so to avoid her being received by her daughter and her husband Angel Moya (who on parole after being sanctioned in the Black Spring, forming part of those 75 opponents of the totalitarian regime, that remain standing as flags against the regime).

The abuses, outrages and detentions of the Ladies in White, are only the gasoline that fuels their silent protests, while they walk with gladioli in their hands.

How much shame that journalist must feel who endorses the governmental abuses! Because it is not worth mentioning, comparing it with those semi-literate men and women who operate as henchmen, and are the instruments of punishment against the opposition, one supposes that it is not the case, that there exists a difference, at least you would want that; now we speak of supposed journalists, professionals who should love their profession, at least they should above all, and not in exchange for largesse, by miserable others, and accept pandering to a system that grows increasingly impossible to sustain.

Again the Human Rights party in Cuba will be held with the pain of the opponents who expose their bodies to be beaten and confined in punishment cells, and unfortunately, also, to be attacked under the complicit silence of the corroded people, thanks to the terror imposed by the State, of those who live within and outside of the country, almost in their totality, because of institutional fear that assures and occupies itself with punishing all who confront it.

Those within fear losing their work, their children’s education; those outside fear reprisals against family members that they left behind, and then that they would be refused the opportunity to come visit them.

While that silence happens, women and men, legitimate children of this people, weary of famine, face each other in their streets demanding democracy.  The Ladies in White endure the beatings and vexations.

The space Estado de Sats will try to fulfill the program in a plural meeting in Havana in order to discuss the destiny of the future Cuba where all Cubans participate.

The members of the UNPACU will end up confined, some with open cases and sent to prison, others returning home with fractures.

That is the daily reality of the opposition on the island.  Except that, in that same instant that the beatings and arrests occur, others see a film, open a beer, and watch their children eat ice cream, satisfied, they think that now they achieved their rights and now done their duty by Jose Marti!

Angel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton prison settlement.  December 2013.

Translated by mlk.

10 December 2013