The Changes and the PEN Club / Angel Santiesteban

The Cuban government’s closeted or open friends are right to speak and write about transformations in the repressive work of the regime. It’s true, there are always others persecuted. In each period there are new names and faces. There lie the real changes.

This week, the PEN Club’s Writers in Prison Committee has issued a document denouncing a new wave of harassment against journalists and writers in Cuba.

The institution rejects the imprisonment without trial, in September 2012, of the journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez. It laments the 14-year sentence for espionage against Jose Antonio Torres, a correspondent for Granma, the Communist Party organ, and the five-year sentence for burglary and assault against the writer Ángel Santiesteban.

The Pen Club calls for the immediate release of Martinez Arias. And demands the authorities guarantee that the convictions against Torres and Santiesteban are unrelated to their reporting, and makes their trials public.

The faces and lives are different. The dungeon is the same.

Raúl Rivero Castañeda

Published in El Mundo

February 27 2013