Fragment of a long letter faxed to Pope Francisco today, following the hospitalization of Angel Santiestaban, with a diagnosis of “supposed” dengue, and it will be delivered directly into the hands of His Holiness, on Monday, through the mediation of a supportive person.
Your Holiness, as I said at the beginning of this letter, this morning I received the sad news that Angel was admitted to a hospital in Havana with a diagnosis of “supposed” dengue. I’m the one who takes care of his blog and many of his efforts outside the island prison, along with his literary agent, the exiled Cuban writer and journalist in Berlin, Amir Valle.
Our concern for Angel is immense because we know well the methods they use to get opponents they find uncomfortable out of the way. They have done it with Laura Pollán, infected with a fatal virus, they have done it with Oswaldo Payá, ramming his car to simulate an accident, just to mention two of the most notorious and brazen cases.
Angel began to feel ill and have a fever on Friday the 13th, precisely the day when his novel “The Summer God Was Sleeping” was presented at the Cervantes Institute in Berlin, having just won the International Franz Kafka Novels From the Drawer Prize in the Czech Republic. It took five days for his jailers to take him to the doctor, and he was admitted to the hospital with the erratic diagnosis of “suspected dengue.”
Your Holiness, I pray to you for Angel, the brave opponent, the tireless fighter for human rights, the great man, the loving father, the great patriot, my beloved friend.
His entire struggle for Cuba is an act of love, boundless dedication, the only way he knows to do things. He does not deserve the plan the dictatorship has designed for him. We need Your Holiness to raise your voice clamoring for Justice for Angel and for all the political prisoners who are dying in the Castro concentration camps.
I am at your disposal to collaborate with you in this task, that of helping to raise the cry for all of them, which to date number more than 120, many of them on hunger strike, seriously endangering their lives.
I say goodbye to you with the hope that you receive my plea for Angel and pray for him and for his speedy recovery.
I firmly believe that whoever saves one life, saves humanity. I act accordingly.
With all my affection,
18 September 2013