Friday, October 31, 2014

Solidarity with Miguel Ginarte

Solidarity with Miguel Ginarte / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on October 31, 2014

Yesterday (Friday) afternoon, the president of the Diez de Octubre Court
declared conclusive the trial against Miguel Ginarte and five other
defendants. Just a year ago, Ángel Santiesteban-Prats wrote this post in
solidarity with Miguel.

The Editor

My mother always warned me that the Cuban government proceeds through
their actions: "When they no longer need you, the squash you like a

In the cultural media, it is well-known that there are very few shows on
Cuban TV that do not use Miguel Ginarte to produce their programmes; in
fact, very few are those who in the end who are not grateful for his
disinterested help, his constant effort, because he takes the care with
each show as if it were the final project that he would ever collaborate
on. A man who people rarely hear say no, and when he has had to say no
it is because it really was beyond his reach to help.

But that ranch not only provides work for the The Cuban Institute of
Radio and Television (ICRT), but also for the Ministry of Culture, who
closed events at that location, like a peasant with a pig being roasted
under the stars. I was able to participate in some of these closures
before opening my blog, of course, and there we could also see the make
up of the diet of then Minister of Culture Abel Prieto, now adviser to
President Raul Castro: Fish and wine.

At that time, Ginarte wasn't selling or diverting resources, as he is
now being accused of. The television directors, when they wanted their
guests to be treated decently, approached Papa Ginarte: who never turned
his back, and after giving the respective indications, persevered to
make sure that the requests were met.

As the actor Alberto Pujol said in his letter, there was no luxury to be
found there; on the contrary, everything was very modest, to the point
that it looked like somewhere one would film a mambises* cabin in the
foothills of a mountain. Ostentation never interested Ginarte, only the
quality of his work, because as every good Cuban peasant knows "A bull
is tied by his horns, and a man by his words".

As always on the island, behind this web of lies against Ginarte, there
must be an official in love with the place, to at a whim do away with
the work accomplished by the sweat of another; perhaps someone who
resents Ginarte because at some time he should have said no, as only he
knows how to do with bureaucrats. But it should come as no surprise to
anyone: everyone's time will come, regardless if they are excellent
professionals, altruists, creators, honest, revolutionary people; they
need only to be inadequate for the plans of those in power to be
literally swept under the carpet.

I remember him with his jovial smile of a macho peasant who enjoyed very
few days before entering prison. I would like to be able to say to him
"the master should be ashamed, Papa Ginarte", and remember him on his
horse, back in the seventies, going to see Luyanó with his daughter
Dinae and, patiently, lifting us up one by one to give us each our turn
on his beautiful auburn steed.

At any rate, despite the pain that the injustice committed against
Ginarte has caused us, there is something that makes it worth it, and
that is his friends and admirers who have joined him by tooth and nail.
I am sure that, as always, those who are ashamed will sign the petition,
as they have done for decades. Others will want to do it but their lack
of courage, or their commitments or perks, won't let them; they think
that it is not their problem, for now. But when someone does it from
their heart, then that is already more than sufficient.

Ángel Santestiban-Prats

Lawton prison settlement. October 2013

*Translator's notes: Mambises is a term used to refer to independent
guerillas who, during the 19th Century in Cuba and the Philippines,
fought in the wars of independence.

Translated by Shane J. Cassidy

25 October 2014

Source: Solidarity with Miguel Ginarte / Angel Santiesteban |
Translating Cuba -

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