When the victim’s time comes / Angel Santiesteban

Harold Cepero and Oswaldo Paya

Laura Pollan

 

God forbid that another death is necessary in order to understand the abusive attitude of the Cuban government against dissidents. I learned by telephone that last Sunday the government authorized the political police to use teams of athletes—judokas and boxers, among others—in combat mode, in another desperate attempt to stop these ladies (the Ladies in White), who only peacefully ask for the release to their families of prisoners and other political opponents who are serving time for thinking differently.

Since I became aware of the physical assaults and the corresponding arrests, an idea has remained fixed in my mind: “We have to expect this to happen in order for the international political community to understand that you cannot negotiate with totalitarian governments, that it is a dead end. That they only appear to adapt to the new times out of their economic desperation, as ‘parasite countries’ that suck what they can out of whatever economy they get near.”

Is an agreement with the United States and the European Union above the objective needs that civil society urges be resolved? By negotiating with the regime, these countries are establishing a dynasty that will last for generations. The shameful truth is that, Sunday after Sunday, the Ladies in White are abused. Now more so, as I learned during my recent call, because those criminal mobs inflicted bone fractures on these helpless women, who have not given up, nor will they give up on their desire for freedom. Even if the above statements fall on ears deafened and eyes clouded by the absurdities with which the Castro brothers enchant them, and make them dance to their tune.

I still hope that the governments involved in the openings understand that they are losing their valuable time, and retracing their steps, only to approach that truth which I have not doubted for a moment: the dictatorship will not submit to a truce in order to change this sad reality that has oppressed us for over half a century.

And I continue to declare that the more the dictatorship strengthens and sends out roots, the more suffering the Cuban people will continue to endure, as the powers reach a deal.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats
April 23, 2015, Border Prison Unit, Havana.

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