Today, April 29, 2015, we begin a new phase in which the Raul Castro dictatorship has decided to take another pass at bullfighter justice with Ángel Santiesteban-Prats.
Yesterday, the 28th, he completed serving half of his unjust sentence, the product of a trumped-up charge and a rigged trial full of irregularities.
Any Cuban prisoner has the right to “enjoy” probation upon serving half of his sentence in prison. But Ángel is NOT a common criminal but a political prisoner who was sentenced for a common crime that he did not commit, in order to hide the political motivation and at the same time portray him as a despised “criminal,” who could not “enjoy” that right, as none of them should, including the availability of residential passes, which, as I have reported, was only granted to him once, in September 2013. Since then, not only have they not let him out again, but they have been confining him in increasingly isolated places so that he has no communication with the outside. Since August 2014, he has been confined in a cage with a minimal yard and a lattice roof.
His UNEAC (National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists) colleagues had engaged in a campaign to discredit him as if he were a violent offender. Now they remain silent about Ángel, knowing and understanding the evidence of his innocence. And worse, blessing the entry of the five murderous spies to the institution as “honorary members.” This is Castro justice and the way their ideological curators work to ensure that the violation of human and civil rights of Cubans who do not lick the boots of the dictator brothers (and soon those of the heir “prince”) are trampled with impunity .
On March 14 of this year I warned that State Security was preparing a new judicial trap for Ángel to justify keeping him locked up. And unfortunately, ithas.
After a year-and-a-half delay, Castro “justice” approved Ángel’s request for a review of the trial. And by waiting to accept it until half of his sentence had been completed, he now has an open court proceeding, and he is not entitled to parole until it is resolved. And so, unfortunately, the fear we announced has come to pass.
Yesterday, April 28, Angel had served 26 months in prison, half of his sentence, and as of yesterday we begin to count the days for him to complete his new sentence: continuing to be a prisoner when he should, at a minimum, be on probation.
The regime in Havana still doesn’t know how to show that Ángel Santiesteban-Prats is a political prisoner, despite his recognition by the Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, it refuses to include him on their lists.
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats is the only “common criminal” who has been repeatedly offered his freedom in exchange for giving up his political position and leaving the island. Angel is a “common criminal” who has been kept isolated in an attempt to prevent the publication of his views about the Castro dictatorship in his blog “The Children Nobody Wanted.”
Ángel has begun serving the second sentence, continuing his confinement in prison, without passes home, with one visit every three weeks, when he should already have been acquitted in a trial with all the guarantees that were denied in the first.
Just as we have done for the past two and a half years, we will not remain silent nor quiet watching them violate Ángel‘s human and prisoner rights.
We will continue to denounce, with increasing strength, each and every violation of Ángel‘s rights. And we continue to call for his immediate release,and that of ALL political prisoners.
The dictatorship also knows that thirty members of the European Parliament recently joined the clamor for freedom. It is hard to understand how they do not feel the slightest embarrassment when sitting down to negotiate with the free world while in Cuba they continue repressing and violating peaceful dissent.
Once again, we hold the dictator Raul Castro responsible for the life and safety of Ángel Santiesteban–Prats. And rest assured that history will not absolve him.