The Cuban government has made a comeback again. This time it has imposed a sentence of five years imprisonment on the writer Ángel Santiesteban-Prats. They have used their usual method of waiting for the weekend for the repressive action, considering that most of the media that cover Cuba take a couple of days off.
There isn’t much I have to say about Angel, only that half of Cuba has read his heartbreaking stories and that’s a lot. His stories are full of the fate of those who don’t believe in luck. Angel Santiesteban was a member of the strongly promoted group known as the “Novisimos” — the Newest — pushed into the limelight by the unparalleled Salvado Redonet. (These were artists who were born and came of age after the Revolution.) His book about the war in Angola didn’t make it into the bookstores for years after having won prizes and slept the sleep of ignored manuscripts. It is an uncomfortable book if we consider that its value lies in its anti-heroes who speak with total freedom. Now they want to imprison him on false charges, already dismissed by a court, putting back in the arena that cheerful boy who toured the island giving public lectures and offering his opinion in literary competitions.
The crime that passes like a scream on everyone’s lips is that he again became an uncomfortable person, that the Cuban Book Institute does not make a priority of addressing the claims of those who speak without restrictions and the Ministry of Culture is just one more department of Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.
The clock is running out on us and this week we will carry forward a strong campaign for his complete freedom. Remember well, writers and artists of Cuba, Angel is a one more figure in the witch hunt that has stretched into 54 years of abuse. Let’s do something.
December 10 2012