Sunday, January 25, 2015

Angelito Santiesteban Does Not Believe Himself the Center of the World

Angelito Santiesteban Does Not Believe Himself the Center of the World /
Luis Felipe Rojas
Posted on January 24, 2015

The writer and blogger Ángel Santiesteban Prats, from the prison where
he is serving an unjust sentence, just published–thanks to the help of a
friend on Facebook–a brief post expressing his thoughts about the recent
releases of political prisoners. As always, Angelito is filled with
Light and strength. May my embrace reach him though the faithful
reproduction of his text.

Ángel's post:

I have received the expressions of pain from many friends, my publisher,
and my relatives–some stupefied, others offended–over my exclusion from
the list of prisoners recently released by the Cuban government.

Upon completing almost two years of unjust imprisonment, I can assure
everyone that never have I asked the correctional authories or, even
less, the officials from State Security who have visited me, when I will
be released. I will never give them that satisfaction, just as I have
never inquired whether I will be given the pass* which is granted to all
"minimum severity" prisoners like me, who am sentenced to five years.

Nonetheless, although I know that I am not on the noted list, my joy is
infinite at knowing that those who were on it are now free. My suffering
is universal. I feel all Cubans to be an extension of me, or vice versa,
above all those who have suffered and do suffer for an ideal–and in
particular that of freedom for our country.

I also believe that the list that so gladdened me was missing the names
of other political prisoners who deserved to have been added. There will
always be some who are excluded because government's sleight-of-hand is
very swift and, when it already has one list compiled, it as another of
recently-apprehended inmates.

It is unfair to think that they should have taken one name off to insert
another. Rather, they should have added to the list, because those who
were freed deserved it, just as do those who still remain in the
totalitarian regime's jails–some shut away and subjected to inhumane
treatment for many years, for whose imminent freedom I pray.

By the same token, and referring again to the recycling of political
prisoners, we must now clamor for the immediate absolution and
liberation of El Sexto, Danilo Maldonado, whom they keep in the Valle
Grande prison for a crime of "disrespect to the images of the leaders."
This is a further proof of how jealously they hold on to their power,
and of what they are ready and able to do to safeguard it. Power and its
dictators are untouchable, and to live is to see it.

I will not live long enough to infinitely thank those who clamor for my
release, and those who suffer because of my imprisonment, but we must
clamor for all–just as my publisher entreats on the blog, "The Children
That Nobody Wanted," and my family through social media. At the least,
may I be last on the list, as I will complain no more.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

January, 2014. Jaimanitas Border Patrol Prison Unit, Havana.

*Translator's note: In an earlier post Ángel explained the Cuban penal
system that allows prisoners with shorter sentences to leave prison
every so many days for extended (overnight) home visits. He was granted
one of these passes when he was in the Lawton Settlement, a work camp,
but future passes were withheld.

Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison

22 January 2015

Source: Angelito Santiesteban Does Not Believe Himself the Center of the
World / Luis Felipe Rojas | Translating Cuba -

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