Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Prison Diary XL A Broth for the Dictator

Prison Diary XL A Broth for the Dictator / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on July 30, 2013

My family sends me the underground solidarity of friends and neighbors
toward my reality. If we add up the population that doesn't support the
regime, we would think the fall of the dictatorship was imminent; but I
know first hand that those who reject the existing process, are the same
people who then go to the Plaza of the Revolution because they fear
having it worse.

I once told the story of Stalin, who standing in the snow, wanted to
teach his functionaries how to subjugate a people, and before the eyes
of his companions, deprived a bird of its plumage and threw it into the
snow. Immediately, the bird ran for cover between the boots of the
assassin. Several times he pushed him away, and with no other choice to
survive, the animal returned to his feet.

I assume his lackeys understood the example well. I would like to ass to
that story that after they returned to the shelter of the palace,
convinced of the bird's plea, of its utter helplessness and unlimited
surrender, the dictator asked his cook to prepare him a nice broth to
satisfy his unlimited whims.

Of course Cubans have never been masochists or stupid, although in these
more than fifty years we might well have won; but I understand that the
logic of the Cuban is thinking that it could be worse.

The prisoners complain all the time, and every time they bring me a
complaint I ask them if they accept that the complaint will be filed
with their name, then they get scared, and tell me they'll be deprived
of their benefits.

"And therein lies the price," I tell them, "change is at the cost of

Sometimes they complain about the food, and I think rightly, the stink
of it makes me think an animal wouldn't eat it.

I tell them that the following day, June 9, will be four months since my
arrival in prison and I have never entered he dining room, I have no
idea what's inside, I assure them that the day we agree to unite in not
going to get the food, things will change, they will take steps to
improve it.

"Political," one says to me, "if it were that easy we'd do it with
pleasure. The food, which is a stew, they will feed to their pigs, and
they will send us to the other end of the island and our families will
be hit the hardest, and with the lost of our credits, they will deprive
us of every possible chance to get out before serving our whole sentence
and everything will remain the same."

Those who have emigrated know that is true, any rebellion is shut down,
in the place where it is, with the worse experience, with the hardest of
punishments, and most, therefore, turn their backs on our reality.

It seems that our internal problems will be resolved by international
demands like the UN, and like the racist regime of South Africa, they
will force respect for the Human Rights of Cubans.

As a start, the first big step of the climb to freedom, and in turn, the
beginning of the fall of the dictatorship, will be with the ratification
of the UN Covenants; which they are about to demand a the FIDH Congress
in Istanbul in the month of May. Congratulations!

Angel Santiesteban-Prats. Prison 1580, July 2013

29 July 2013

Source: "Prison Diary XL: A Broth for the Dictator / Angel Santiesteban
| Translating Cuba" -

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