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.
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