Tuesday, February 25, 2014

File 444 - New Proof of My Innocence

File 444: New Proof of My Innocence / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on February 24, 2014

The accusations against me began a few months after I opened my blog,
The Children Nobody Wanted. And when the National Union of Writers and
Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) informed State Security that they were handling
an invitation for me to attend the Festival of the Word in Puerto Rico,
I was immediately summoned to the police station to impose on me a bond
of 1,000 pesos, to prevent me from participating in that cultural
activity. I remember that while I refused to make the payment, a Major
who casually answered to the name Kenia — like my accuser — picked up
the telephone to call Miguel Barnet, the President of UNEAC, so he would
help convince me to pay, and make me give way before my defiant attitude
of preferring to be in prison.

I had been accompanied by a writer friend, a brother, one of those whom
life presents and who suffers for you more or as much as those who were
born from the uterus of my mother. With the best intention, he pleaded
that I accept payment of the bond before the threat of being sent to the
cell. Finally I accepted that bond months after the accusations, and the
file was archived for being considered insufficient, corroborating the
constant contradictions of the prosecutor, who was changing statements,
enlarging them, taking them away, and lying openly, because that was the
way to silence the possibility of being denounced from abroad.

Years later, precisely during those days of the Festival of the Book in
Havana, I approached the bank to collect the bond, placed by the one who
paid it while I was detained in the police station: The bank denied the
payment and sent it to the police station and from there to the
prosecution, to discover – as if there weren't sufficient proofs
presented of my innocence – that the ones who imposed the bond, and so
took possession of the bureaucratic paperwork, was State Security.

My writer friend had called me alarmed, impressed by the scarce decency
and the rough methods used against me. I was punished as a common
prisoner, my friend told me, but in the main chamber of State Security's
Provincial Tribunal, in the special venue for distinguished cases of
Carmen and Juan Delgado. Now he confirms that the bond was imposed by
the "political police"; he said he was impressed. I learned that my case
was numbered "444″ like a television serial that is shown these days. My
friend is sad. I laugh at such ridicule, such cowardice, and I imagine
the day when the truth will come out into the light and unmask the
cunning politics. What would they think, those people who support the
government or stay silent in order avoid persecution?

Time and patience, my mother counsels me. Today I oblige her.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton Prison Settlement. February 2014.

Translated by Regina Anavy

24 February 2014

Source: File 444: New Proof of My Innocence / Angel Santiesteban |
Translating Cuba -

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