I want to share a letter that my brother Angel wrote to me, just today when I don’t know where he is or how he is doing, and they have changed his prison, and right now he is still missing. I request immediate release for him, the writer Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, innocent of all charges for which he was sentenced to five years of unjust imprisonment. He is only guilty of wanting a homeland without tyrants.
Your hugs will always be the maternal nest and the only where I feel the deepest love, and that our dear mother laid there as eternal guardians. Your letter excited me greatly because one word from you causes an earthquake in my chest. I have delighted in each image, with which you call my memory to reminisce. I know that you suffer more than I do; I also know you are strong like the women of my family, you all taught me to be a centaur, half man, half you, and in this mixture of tenderness and justice, trying to be the dictate of my call, of my duty towards my time and my country.
You know that this sacrifice has a name; I do it for you, for Ana, my children, Cubans, my Masonic aptitude and attitude, in payment to my readers, for the sacrifice of those men who from before the eighteenth century were already fighting for our independence, first in Spain, later of those who broke their oath, and especially for José Martí.
I know that you will respect my decision despite the suffering, you’ll keep your promise to never ask for clemency for me, and to accept the fate that God throws at me with the utmost stoicism; you know that what he does for us is good. Not by choice he has never abandoned us, and in the worst moment I cling with my nails to his sandals, his blue mangle. I am optimistic, once day soon, we will feel pleases to have helped, with our grain of effort, the urgent changes we need.
Wait, my love, you know you’re the most important person in my life, without you I lose my roots, my path in life, you are like the compass to my feelings. You are the mast of my boat, the lighthouse that warns where truth and reason lie, and shows the distance in space of the land that lies ahead for the repose of our virtues.
In you I trust, so I feel strong, so I resist the storms. My books are yours, I write for you, thinking of you, and in the morning, I remember your picture that gives me the strength to continue to grow as a writer, as a human being and as part of the process of change in our society. This prison is not enough to lock me up, here I raise my flight, I escape, travel, and live my literature, there is no space larger and more opportune for me to live in.
When you think of me, close your hands, leaving a vacuum inside like a house, then through a crack find me, I’ll be there forever, like the light of a firefly giving signs of persistence and love, because I live in you, live for you.
Kisses until exhaustion,
3 August 2013