Testimony: The Failed Attempts to Make Me an “Agent” – IV / Angel Santiesteban

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After the Black Spring, when they arrested the 75 Government opponents, through my younger sister I met one of them who had been released due to illness. And visiting his house, I noticed that his daughter was an absolute beauty. I think it was a mutual sympathy from the beginning and she agreed to take a walk with me, and then become my girlfriend.

To tell the truth, I joked about the dissidents, at least those who visited her house. Most of them were looking for political backing to leave the country for the United States. My girlfriends’ parents would sell, in their own handwriting, “evidence” later presented to the United States Interest Section, for possible approval to acquire the status of those championed by the United States. They would also sell the donations offered by U.S. Interest Section: radios, cameras, tape recorders, office paper, and the continuously supplied books for an Independent Library.

Those people were repugnant to me for their dishonesty. Mercenaries who mercilessly took advantage of what was at their fingertips. I noticed that the wife, my mother-in-law at that time, wasn’t a member of the Ladies in White. She said she was against it and considered them enemies because they had different ways of seeing reality. Something that seemed odd to me, but reasonable, it was her own free will.

Months later, my girlfriend told me she had been approached by an official from State Security and asked to cooperate with them. She told me she had refused, assuring them she was apolitical. She insisted to the official that she could understand that his intention was to know about me: What was I doing? Who did I interact with? She refused, it wasn’t possible that they were more interested in me than in her parents. Security would surely try to get her to betray them, I ended up saying.

She laughed, convinced that I was wrong. There were seconds of silence. I assumed she was trying to tell me something I couldn’t grasp. She confessed that it wasn’t the first time she had talked with the “agents,” almost letting me know that she was a frequent collaborator. I inferred that she had betrayed her parents. But the biggest surprise was when she told me about a telephone call of her mother’s, who, before making it said she needed privacy and asked her to leave the phone booth. Thinking she was cheating on her dad, she managed to sidle up without her mother noticing, and heard her talking to an official and identifying herself as the agent Victoria.

I then recalled the stories about her mother showing up near the Combinado del Este prison, demanding to be allowed to see her husband; that in some Roundtable TV episode and in the newspapers she’d been mentioned as a dissident. And it all seemed so disappointing to me.

I didn’t see my girlfriend again. The last time I ran into her coming back from the U.S. Interest Section, she had in her hands approval to enter the United States. Since them I realized that it’s not worth it to believe secrets exist. They know more about us than we do about ourselves. The best thing is to freely express what you feel and what you want.

And accept the consequences, of course.

10 August 2011