Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The State That's Afraid of Words / Angel Santiesteban

The State That's Afraid of Words / Angel Santiesteban
Angel Santiesteban, Translator: Unstated   

Henry Constantin

How weak is a State that sees danger in the words of a student? And using its power forcefully attacks and dictates the immediate expulsion of Henry Constantin from the Superior Art Institute (ISA) in Havana, brutally abusing his rights and using psychological torture. In recent days, in the middle of the night, and aware of the cowardice this implies, leaders of the student union (FEU) took action against Henry to avoid that the rest of the students would be witnesses.

Caught in deep sleep, and without giving him a chance to react; manhandled by the dean of students and other manipulated students, and given his refusal to go along (as he made it clear that he would not leave the school on his own two feet), they dragged him from his dorm, down the stairs, events only comparable to the hordes of the Nazi SS or the dictators of the past century in southern lanes, and put him in a car and abandoned him far from home and the university.

How disgusted must they be with themselves, those who committed this outrage? This event could be inscribed in the long anthology of horror of the Castro dictatorship.

How much madness was needed to carry out this procedure?

Where is the "defender of the humble," Mr. Comandante who now wastes none of the ink of his Reflections to interceded against the unconstitutional abuse he fathered? None of them were expelled from the university despite their armed activities. Why are the universities for communists, if not even Batista himself refused them to his enemies? The "Revolutionary" that cheated us promised justice, rights and freedoms, and instead exceeds in horror the regime he fought against.

Why does the young Henry Constantin, talented art student, in need of freedom, as we all seek through our blogs, not deserve some droplets of ink from the elder strongman, after he's poured out a veritable river of black letters to publicly defend the murdered Bin Laden and to express sorrow at the loss of this "comrade"?

How much misery has a Government put together to abuse a young artist, diligent and talented student, of a physically barely developed adolescent, for the supposed crime of issuing opinions?

So many questions and so few logical answers.

How then, from different places in the world, have human beings been able to defend a system that puts shames us?

In any event, our friend and brother Henry, you will rarely have the opportunity to be more of a hero than now, it is difficult to grow as high as you have done this time. I'm honored by your courage, being just a boy, you have made a mockery of the system and its perfect fascist machinery.

Know that your strength like ours, is multiplied after each unworthy act. I also know that you harbor no hatred, the artist in you will not let you, despite the shock and feeling of helplessness. They are deserving of pity, because they fear losing the space that they maintain by the force of injustice, they are aware that their attitude has no place in modern times.

You also know that we will not stand by with folded arms. We will continue demanding justice and your rights, which is the same.

Here is my friendship forever, and my breath.

May 31 2011



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