Angel Santiesteban Prats: Prison Diary 1 / Angel Santiesteban

Carta desde la prisionThe writer Angel Santiesteban-Prats is now in La Lima prison, located in Guanabacoa. He was transferred there on Saturday after spending a day in Valle Grande prison where he wrote this post, the first that we have from him in his captivity.

Each and every one of the posts he writes we will publish here in his blog “The Children Nobody Wanted.”

Behind Bars

Finally, the Cuban government has me behind bars. After 4 years of an arbitrary “legal process” where they have violated the most basic rules of the legal system and I have faced multiple charges, all of them with the clear intention of degrading my image before public opinion, and so my process will serve to intimidate Cuban writers and artists and I will close my blog, “The Children Nobody Wanted,” with which I’ve reached the light, that once possessed is irreversible.

Despite the suffering and the pain it has caused, especially for my family, I feel proud of being in the place where so many good Cubans have ended up.

From here I will try to write my posts and fulfill my modest role in achieving a democratic opening in Cuba, I will continue my struggle and resistance to the totalitarian regime. I’m just a citizen who decided to take off the mask and expose the truth of my country as as far as I can, in writing.

Now I find myself surrounded by men who committed various crimes but complain of racism, beatings and social injustices. When they hear that Cuba will soon change their eyes light up.

Other inmates have had the term ’’dangerousness*’’ applied to them, a supposedly legal term in our country. Individuals are sanctioned in advance, on suspicion that they might commit some illegality; the majority of them are black and do not have State jobs.

Today begins a new stage in my life and the path I have chosen. The hope of Cubans, their persistence in the fight will bring the change needed to become a prosperous and democratic state.

Without more from my “tall and slanted” handwriting I send you my hugs and thanks for all who have shown their solidarity and support for the cause.

From Valle Grande prison, 1 March 2013

Ángel Santiesteban Prats

*Translator’s note: The Cuban Penal Code recognizes the crime of “pre-criminal dangerousness” which carries a sentence of 1-4 years. The “crime” is the potential to commit a crime, not actually having committed one.

March 5 2013