Dignity cannot be killed nor can it be caged / Angel Santiesteban #Cuba

León enfrenta cocodriloThe majority of human beings share with the animal kingdom a love of liberty and respect for our neighbors. But not everyone, evidently. Because if it were so, dictators wouldn’t exist, nor would other inferior spirits that – reincarnated into despicable henchmen and bullies – execute, literally, human dignity on a daily basis. But dignity is unbeatable, and as many times as they assassinate it, it continues to live.

Cuba under the Castros is part of a lamentable list of states whose governments represent everything they shouldn’t be.

Fortunately those countries also count on intellectuals who are ready to struggle with all their being to end the system that oppresses them.

To be a persecuted politico in Cuba because of defending liberty and dignity, and joining the list of other brothers in the world who also do it, even knowing what they are exposed to, fills me with pride. Dignity cannot be killed nor caged.

My attitude is that of the lion that faces a terrible crocodile.

Let the tyrant know we exist!

Ángel Santistesteban-Prats
Cuban writer

(Translated from the French)

In Qatar, a trial in Doha has just condemned the poet Ibn al-Dhib to prison for life for having written a poem in which he compares all the Arab countries to Tunisia in the struggle against a despotic elite.

But let’s tell it like it is: This doesn’t mean a thing to anyone.

In Hungary, the writer Peter Esterhazy has been censored by public radio because he criticized the cultural politics of the government of the very conservative prime minister, Viktor Orban, who controls the media.

Let’s be clear: We couldn’t care less.

In Moscow, the writer Edouard Limonov was interrogated on December 31 for trying to participate in a non-authorized gathering: It’s a matter of defending, 24/7, Article 31 of the Constitution, which guarantees free assembly.

Please note: Nobody did a fucking thing.

In China, the Uighur poet, Nurmemet Yasin was tortured and condemned in 2004 to 10 years in prison for having published a story entitled “The Wild Pigeon”, considered a disguised indictment against the authorities.

Let him die! Wait, they did: We just learned that he died in prison in December 2011.

In China again, the dissident poet Li Bifeng, imprisoned since 2011, has just been condemned to 12 years in prison for fraud.

Let this dog rot like the other one, good riddance!

Gérard Depardieu, the talented French actor, is in a tiff with the French government, which wishes to fleece him of his money.

This time the line of scandal has been crossed, and it’s unacceptable.

Because this strongly resembles a political persecution on top of a man-hunt: Gérard simply wanted to profit from his millions, fart in his silk underwear and burp his wine without being bugged by the collective. But they track him, they impose a tax of 75 percent, they force him to flee to Belgium, perhaps even into the Ural Mountains.

One wants to break out into an argued defense of the tyrannized comedian, but the rage is too strong, the hands tremble, words rush onto the writing paper, and all we manage to write is: “It’s really disgusting.”

But what good does it do to get indignant? Everyone makes fun of him, and Depardieu, like everyone else without a voice, is condemned to undergo the onslaught of insults that a despotic regime has concocted against him.

Let’s have a moving moment of silence for this great reader of Saint Augustin.

Meanwhile, what’s next? The Cuban writer and blogger Angel Santiesteban Prats, who, last month, was condemned by a court in Havana to five years in prison for….house-breaking.

It’s useless to point out that, to us, this is a joke.

With the Saudi writer Turki al-hamad, arrested on December 24 for having spread on Twitter supposed offensive comments about Islam.

We turn a blind eye.

With the journalist and blogger Hamza Kashgari, delivered last year by Malaysia to the Saudi kingdom so he can be tried for blasphemy, following his comments on Twitter that are regarded as insults to the prophet.

We don’t give a shit.

Translated by Regina Anavy

January 24 2013

You can continue reading all the articles of the dossier, “Le cahier Livres de Libé“. Published by Libération.