Does a Good Man Wake Up Younger Every Day? Angel Santiesteban Who is Celebrating His Birthday Today In Prison

Dear Angel,

Today is August 2nd and it’s your birthday, locked up in this filthy and inhumane Concentration Camp of the dictatorship that is Prison 1580. They try to freeze you, isolate you, silence you. Nothing has succeeded. Not only because you are stronger morally than that tremendous State apparatus put to work to control a man whose only weapons are your words, your truths shouted to the whole world, because, with even more ice with which they try to cover your heart, it is your heart that melts the ice. The more they crush you stronger you get. The more they try to silence you, them more your voice resonates internationally. They should have taken note of it, but we already know: the dictatorships are always like this, obsessed and stupid.

Angel, on Sunday, 28 July, you’d served five months of unjust imprisonment, and still, you maintain intact your joy, your optimism, your enthusiasm for writing, your desire to love and share the beautiful things of life in freedom, with everyone you love and with your people, for this you have sacrificed your life. But, and this is exactly what most bothers your jailers, who know well because they live with you, for you there is no sacrifice in it: you feel and live as if it is a privilege, you know a chosen one, it is a pride for you to be able to fulfill the mission of denouncing — now from the bowels of the Castro hell — the horrors of a criminal totalitarian system that subjected its own people and helped other dictatorships to subject theirs, lying to the world with a mask of false humanism that they have just dropped, again, now when they’ve been caught hiding arms in sugar that the Cuban people haven’t had for decades; sugar with which to sweeten their bitter existence.

Angel, we know that we know that you are still losing weight, you’re extremely pale, receive visits once a month, have a scant three minutes of phone time a week, you are regularly in solitary confinement, you live harassed by guards and prisoner stool pigeons… but you still do the cleverest things to send us your denunciations and those beautiful letters that you write to your loved ones, and with which you give us peace in exchange for our anguish, knowing that you are constantly being stalked and are in danger. You’re always thinking of others before yourself.

Angel, don’t forget for even a second: today, on your birthday, we are with you and love you more than ever.

Your family and friends

2 August 2013