Photo taken from the internet
Open letter to John Kerry: “Isn’t it time for all Cuban voices to be heard?”
Published Thursday, August 13, 2015.
On Friday August 14, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Cuba to strengthen the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He is the first U.S. Secretary of State to make an official visit to the island since 1945. This is a unique opportunity to address the catastrophic situation for freedom of press and information in Cuba. RSF sent an open letter to John Kerry addressing these fundamental issues.
Paris, August 13, 2015
Dear Secretary Kerry,
On the occasion of your historic visit to Cuba this August 14th, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asks that during your meetings with Cuban authorities you address the problem of freedom of press and information. As the first high-level American politician to visit Cuba since 1959, you have the duty, and the power, to positively influence Cuban policies.
Cuba ranks 169th among 180 countries in the World Ranking of Press Freedom published by Reporters Without Borders in 2015. The Cuban government maintains a monopoly on information and does not tolerate any independent voices: it prohibits the existence of free media. Only official media are authorized (and the list of them is very short). The media that do not have state authorization are deemed illegal and are censored. Moreover, Cuba is considered one of the countries with the least access to the Internet worldwide. Continue reading
Disoriented in time like all ex-prisoners, Ángel Santiesteban brings with him a thousand prison demons.
Interview with Ángel Santiesteban after his conditional release – Cuba 2015.
Havana, Cuba, Augusto César San Martín — The writer Ángel Santiesteban Prats suffers with every word he writes. “I classify my work as social,” he declares in an interview given to Cubanet. “It’s always about the environment that surrounds the Cuban,” he adds.
And “suffering” is the best word to describe a people numb with fear, according to the writer who won the Short Story Prize from the National Union of Artists and Writers in Cuba (UNEAC).
“Most of our people pretend; they hope that this will pass and that they don’t encounter that wall. They don’t brave any consequences they might receive for confronting the dictatorship,” he expressed. Continue reading
Photo: Courtesy of Angel Moya
Angel Santiesteban attended the Ladies in White march today, 19 July 2015, just 36 hours after have been paroled from prison and despite warnings from officials from the political police.
19 July 2015
Raul Castro blindfolds a guerrilla sentenced to die by firing squad.
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 14 May 2015 — I pray that Europe does not expose its neck to the dictatorship — especially to Raul Castro “the vampire” — who, by tradition, for over fifty years, has sucked in as many opportunities as his long, sharp fangs have allowed him to.
Each time the dissolution of the (EU) Common Position which prevented the dictatorship to continue abusing opposition as it wanted gets closer, and now, like a snake, we see the dictatorship crawl to its new convenient position that will strengthen it, in order to stay in power and continuing through the “heirs” of Castro being the absolute masters of Cuba.
Arrogant as usual, Raul Castro appears before foreign presidents — who so far have kept a common front to halt his Human Rights violations — and tries to change the story, as if telling a lie over and over in any stand he is offered would make them believe him. Continue reading
Barnet accompanied by Castro’s mobs in Panama City, Panama.
We reproduce here an excellent article by Felix Viera about Miguel Barnet, president of UNEAC (Cuban Writers and Artists Union) and one of the most servile cultural commissar of Castro’s dictatorship. In the article Viera offers the example of what has happened to Angel Santiesteban.
Félix Luis Viera, México DF
Miguel Barnet, president of the Cuban Artists and Writers Union (UNEAC) chaired a meeting at the headquarters of this organization in the city of Pinar del Rio, reports Granma — the official news paper — (like all the existing press in Cuba, paid by the government), in its issue of June 30th.
Barnet, as he was candid instead of cynical, brought to the memory of those present, what he has called “Fidel’s words to the Intellectuals,” a terrible moment in the history of Cuban culture. Continue reading
L to r: Victor Fowler, unidentified, Mariela Castro
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 13 April 2015 — A friend’s grandmother claimed that most people complain,”When their own toe is stepped on, but not for someone else’s” because it does not hurt them.
Just a few days ago I wrote a post in which I mentioned the Cuban intellectual Victor Fowler. Despite having explained the real dilemma for which State Security threatened to imprison me — and he listened to me and at least said he recognized my situation at that time — I offered him a ride in my car, when I saw him on the street taking his son to José Martí National Library for a cultural workshop. At that moment he made me believe that he empathized with my case. I swear if he had disagreed with me, I wouldn’t have put them the car, on the contrary, I would have admired him. Continue reading
Aleida Guevara, daughter of the infamous “Che” Guevara
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 13 April 2015 — My colleague and friend Felix Luis Viera has written a post about one of the most disgusting human being I’ve ever had in front of me: Aleida Guevara.
Sometimes we ran into each other in our children’s school on 62nd and 5th Avenue, in the Playa municipality. I talked about it once in a post — I also described that facts I am giving you now — when a teacher told me that “Guevara”, as they call her, had been inquiring about my relative. Fortunately, he is out of her reach and her revenge.
On that occasion I commented on the arrogance, pushiness and haughtiness which she displayed and with which she manipulated those around her. In fact, she acted like the school principal, while the actual principal along with teachers nodded their heads in constant assent, fearful of a complaint from that fatso with “commander pretensions,” regardless of the cause and reason, which could get them expelled from the school in the blink of an eye. This woman, as brute as a mule, moved around that institution like a triumphant guerrilla. Continue reading
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 13 May 2015 — Again Raul Castro lies to the world when he says on television that “independent journalists” are graduates from a course at the United States Interest Section (USIS) in Havana, and that they also receive a “stipend” from that agency. Graduates from that course: I have met lawyers, doctors, economists, among many professionals. I remember at some point I was interested in that course, but I never completed my registration. It was not a bad idea. Knowledge is always welcome.
General Raúl Castro, if he decided to mention us, he did it with disdain as usual, by asking his Minister of Foreign affairs about the term “independent” because he thinks that’s the way to denigrate such a worthy condition. He showed the same attitude when he spoke about the autobiography of President Barak Obama, “I’ve read a few passages”, making it clear it did not deserve the space or the necessary importance from his “precious time.” Continue reading
Lady in White Laura Pollan (now deceased) being dragged by security agents
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 3 June 2015 — There is not a single day of my existence in prison in which I don’t feel embarrassed for those women who, at the beginning of 2013, once I was jailed, made a supposed appeal against gender violence, when in fact it was later shown — by the silence they maintained before other forms of violence exercises against women in opposition to the regime on the island — that they were just intending to comply with government oder, dictated by Abel Prieto personally, spokesman and sinister mastermind, from the darkness of his office as advisor of Raul Castro, the main purpose of which was to smother international solidarity in my favor.
At that time, those women, especially the intellectual ones — whom I had travel with, shared book presentations, events in which they devoted odes to my affability; who I shared emails with daily, dinners, who organized surprise parties for me, and appeared with me in national and international anthologies — once they received the official order, the joined efforts to execute me publicly, just to receive the attention of politicians and cultural officials and looking not to be forgotten when trips abroad are awarded, with which the dictatorship usually rewards their most loyal subjects in the culture field. Continue reading
After the Congress of Honduras, according to the validity of its statutes, decided to impeach former president Manuel Zelaya, the mafia of leftist Latin American presidents have attacked from all sides the new elected government of Porfirio Lobo, expressing their support for former president Zelaya, who took his dismissal as a coup.
The late Hugo Chavez was the one who led the crusade in his favor. Since that historic event, the “wound has not healed” and, once the new president has committed to give continuity to Democracy in his nation — Democracy which was reaffirmed during last presidential election when Hondurans did not gave their vote to Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the former president’s wife, and elected instead the agricultural entrepreneur Porfirio Lobo — these pro-Castro governments have joined efforts to plot and make it difficult the advancement of his plans for social, political and economic development. Continue reading
Angel Santiesteban-Prats, 14 May 2015 — Like in an old historical museum of the horror of the Cuban Revolution, the visit of the most powerful rulers to Fidel Castro’s lair is expected. It’s like visiting a living mummy, still able to continue to do harm to those who do not coincide with his directives. They have chosen the photographs instead, because they are ashamed of the grimaces and gestures — that come along age — to be seen by the rest of the world.
For some presidents who visit the Cuban archipelago, leaving without a snapshot alongside the old wolf it is like going to Paris and not being photographed at the Eiffel Tower. I understand that in politics and to any human being in general, being photographed with the old jackal means a moral disgrace. I would not portray myself beside Hitler or Stalin nor even next to their wax replicas. Times of dignity are scarce. Some call it diplomacy, however talking on the phone with Antonio Rodiles, we agree that subject is about telling the truth in a decent and settled way. Continue reading