Prison Diary XLI: Huge Prize for Pequeño / Angel Santiesteban

The Cuban writer José M. Fernández Pequeño, through his important work, has set the stage for reversing the meaning of his name (“pequeño” means “small”), and again has grown like the giant of letters that he surely is and will remain.

I still haven’t read his book, “The Secret Weapon.” But I can assure you that the secret weapon of my friend Pequeño is his goodness, the quality of his heart, that emanates indelible feelings to those around him, and his sacrifice for others is bulletproof.

Pequeño, after receiving me in his home, where he hosted me along with his wife and children, took it upon himself, through another Cuban, to get me a job in the local subsidiary, of a major foreign publisher, with the intention of not returning to Cuba.

Here I am, in this horrible prison, happy that Pequeño will continue to be a leading exponent of Cuban literature, unfortunately in exile, in the second home country that the Dominican Republic represents for many Cubans, suffocated by poverty and the ideological pressure of the totalitarian regime.

They went there to escape the torment of socialism, to write their works without hunger and, especially, without their children being hungry, and it could bring them a horizon,that they enjoy today, thanks to the wise decision to emigrate and then managing to get them out.

Congratulations friend Pequeño, soon we will celebrate in a free Cuba that will open its arms to receive you once again, as the great writer you are, and that you would like to enjoy.

Inspired by your prize, I send you the most affectionate hug.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats, 1580 Prison

30 July 2013