Sunday, March 30, 2014

S.O.S. The Soldiers Are Suffocating Us

S.O.S. The Soldiers Are Suffocating Us / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on March 29, 2014

A daring prisoner has revealed to me the intention of high-ranking
soldiers to become my enemies. To accomplish this they took away a pass,
the most sacred thing for them; then they reduced even more the
precarious nutrition. The ration of chicken, which is provided two times
a month, has been reduced to one sole occurrence, and what before could
be divided by two persons now is shared among three. The acid picadillo
has been substituted for the main dish.

The chiefs of the Direction of Prisons, seeing that their pressure has
not been effective, have advanced by four hours the schedule for
returning from the pass. Before it was at six in the evening; now they
stipulated that it be at two. Another gesture of manipulation has been
that of the four hours granted for time on the telephone so prisoners
can communicate with their families, they have left only one.

The day of access to the pass, they assign work that could be done the
following day, with the sole purpose of annoying the prisoners, to
increase the ill will against me, since, according to Lieutenant Colonel
Eduardo, the head of the penal prosecution, I don't comply with the
schedule and discipline established because the inmates allow me to do
it. He asked that they confront me, that they demand I be "re-educated,"
so that, once they succeed, they will have privileges returned to them.

Today, payday, their salaries, gained according to contract, have been
reduced; that is to say, they can calculate the amount they earned in
the month and thus the salary they are owed. However, without
explanation, they have been fleeced in the worst style of highway robbery.

I can't predict how long the prisoners will support this subjugation of
their "rights," in a country where rights don't exist, especially if
people are detained in penitentiaries, where they are persecuted and
receive the most inhuman treatment, where the blackmail of the officials
is constant, since they control the prisoners' lives and destinies.
Tomorrow, for example, with a single movement of their lips, they can
order that those prisoners wake up in Santa Clara, Camaguey or Santiago
de Cuba, and thus be removed from their families.

I continue writing my literature in this sabbatical year that the
dictatorship has granted me, and I remain standing in the struggle for
human rights for all Cubans.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton Prison Settlement. March 2014.

Editor's Note: The dictatorship continues to systematically violate the
rights of Angel Santiesteban, in breach of their own laws. By law he
should get a pass for 72 hours every 70 days, in agreement with the
prison regimen to which he is submitted. From the second of August 2013
until now, they have "granted" him one single pass at the end of
September. That week the rest of the prisoners "enjoyed" a pass of six
days, and he was returned to remain alone with the jailers. These
punishments that they impose on him don't scare him. They should realize
by now that the more they try to harm him, the more they strengthen him,
and they are even collaborating with Cuban literature, which has – for a
year – one of the great talents working without pause.

To sign the petition to have Angel Santiesteban declared a prisoner of
conscience, please follow the link.

Translated by Regina Anavy

19 March 2014

Source: S.O.S. The Soldiers Are Suffocating Us / Angel Santiesteban |
Translating Cuba -

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