Communique: Castro, The Guardian Of Human Rights In The United Nations, Returns To Harass And Threaten Angel Santiesteban

Detention of a Woman in White, Havana, 10th of December 2013. (EFE)


The detention of Antonio Rodiles.

A few days shy of ten months of wrongful imprisonment, after a show trial in which they have never proven one of the crimes brought against him because he never committed them, and without which the prosecution hasn’t responded to the appeal for a review of the case which submitted by the lawyer Amelia Rodriguez Cala on July 4th of this year, in the Lawton prison settlement where he is now detained since his birthday (August 2), Ángel has started being harassed and provoked by his jailers, in what we consider a clear strategy to push him to commit any misconduct that would justify a new transfer to a stricter regime of prison or which would allow his accusers to prove his supposed violent nature in the retrial, after which, if the Cuban legal structure works, they will be required to release him.

These are not isolated events: the re-educator had already tried to set the other prisoners against Ángel and told them he would put him “in a box”. Inmates assumed he was referring to a coffin, but another reading could be that Ángel would be “tamed with dirty or violent methods.”

Then on Friday the 13th during the night, the settlement was visited by the new head of CETEM, the Major Cobas, along with the aforementioned re-educator. Ángel recounts that: “The other night they searched me, there was the head of the camps, as the Chief re-educators, and I did not permit him, he opposed me then threw my stuff on the floor and kicked it so that I could not touch it. They told me that it was a serious breach of discipline and that they would make a record of it immediately. Then they took all of my belongings and searched them.”

How far do you plan to take the abuse dictator Raul Castro, now shelterd by the Human Rights Council of the UN? Shame is what all the member countries of the UN which sit on the Council should feel towards this systematic violator of all rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, who only seeks to extend his archaic but deadly reign of terror to the rest of the continent.

All international press with dignity, last December 10, the International Day of Human Rights, showed the world what the pathetic UN Council was trying to hide: the Cuban government celebrated that day by repressing its opponents in what is considered one of the darkest days of repression in Cuba. But the truth always triumphs, Mister Dictator. And Justice too, of that you should not have the slightest doubt. But if you do however, study some history.

I repeat what I have told you many times, you and the whole army of thugs at your service are absolutely responsible for the life and safety of Ángel Santiesteban-Prats. And remember that while the world is watching in horror as you send paramilitary mobs to beat up peaceful Ladies in White carrying gladioli as the only weapon and as you use children as shields in acts of repudiation against those who think differently and also serves as a witness of the most abhorrent scenes of physical violence against activists who, moreover, weren’t even demonstrating in the streets, as was the case in the door of the headquarters of Estado de Sats; that same world continues to recognize the talent of Ángel, rewarding him, as happened in September when he was awarded the Franz Kafka International Prize for Novels from the Drawer, and they paid tribute to him, just as he received a few days ago in Montreal. Oh how it hurts! Doesn’t it?

So do not forget this: You are responsible for what happens to Angel, and for the orders which you give to your henchmen. The world is watching.

The Editor

Translated by: Shane J. Cassidy

18 December 2013