Any honest and decent agreement should include the demand for the release of ALL the political prisoners / Angel Santiesteban

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats was and is the victim of Cuban State Security, which wants to silence his voice of opposition.

They fabricated a judicial action based on false denunciations from the mother of his son, who properly denied them when he announced internationally that he had been forced by his mother and the political police to declare against his own father.

Angel’s innocence has been shown with more than enough proof, and all good Cubans (and others) know it. Before the impotence of puppet justice to “prove” these denunciations, in spite of the fact that international law doesn’t consider one element of the accusation valid, they justified a sentence of five years on the report of a calligraphy expert: “guilty by the height and inclination of his handwriting.”

Some secret accords between the administration of President Obama and the dictatorship of Raul Castro, encouraged by his Holiness Pope Francis I (knowing the “Santiesteban” case, since he has received many letters and faxes), have effected the renewal of diplomatic relations between both countries. As a gesture of “good will,” the dictator freed 53 political prisoners, of whom 14 were already released, demonstrating once again how Castro ridicules the whole world, including those who favor treating him in a way he doesn’t deserve.

Shamefully, Angel Santiesteban-Prats wasn’t included on that list [of prisoners to be released]. Obama, as well as the “human rights” organizations that composed the list, know very well that the dictatorship’s most effective method is to condemn the opposition for common crimes that are invented in order to take support away from them and in order to deprive them of the possible benefit of amnesty.

Nor can those who composed the list of “approved” political prisoners justify the Machiavellian maneuver of the “legal bureaucracy” (not being “bureaucratically” political prisoners, they can’t be on that list, although the trap perpetuated against them has been made public).

The fact is undeniable: They ignore and exclude those “common prisoners” condemned because of their opposition and moreover are responsible for the injustice they committed with Angel’s exclusion.

It’s worth remembering once more that Angel Santiesteban-Prats must be the only common prisoner on the island who was offered freedom in exchange for abandoning his political posture, many times. Each time he refused.

Angel not only remained off this list because he is — according to the dictatorship, the Pope, President Obama, and the intervening human rights organizations — a “common delinquent,” they also laid another legal trap, delaying for more than a year the “benefit” of a review of the ridiculous judgment.

This “review,” approved but not yet carried out, left Angel outside any possibility of enjoying his rights as a prisoner, among them conditional liberty, which he should get in April, upon fulfilling half of his sentence. The explanation is again a bureaucratic one: While there are pending “matters” with justice, there is nothing conditional; now Angel has a pending review that will never happen.

The ones guilty of this situation are Raul Castro and his always-and-never-dead brother, Fidel. But by the same measure, so are all those compatriots who call themselves “activists” and “dissidents,” who know that Angel IS NOT a common prisoner but a prisoner of conscience. They left him alone and excluded him from the list. You have to ask yourself how many more of those “common prisoners” have also been forgotten when that list was drawn up.

Any honest and decent agreement must include the demand (no one demanded anything from the dictatorship) of immediate and unconditional freedom for ALL Cuban political prisoners. Angel Santiesteban-Prats has always expressed this demand in his writings from prison.

From here on, and condemning the silence and the complicity of everyone involved in these agreements, WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE, UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS. The rest, as the people of Cuba say, is mere jabbering, cheap politicking.

The Editor 

Translated by Regina Anavy

15 January 2015