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Translator: Hombre de Paz

[1] Today, April 9, 2015, we are just 19 days away from the date in which the dictatorship of the Castro clan should have granted probation to Angel Santiesteban-Prats, a prisoner wrongfully for crimes he did not commit as has been widely attested. So within days of him being about to be released, we have learned that they have planned to move him again. We don’t know where or why. We have also found out that on the last visit he received, he was monitored by cameras set up for this occasion. [2] This Friday, April 10, he should again receive a visit, and this visit coincides with the Americas Summit in Panama City, where Raúl Castro will be with his entourage. There will also participate members of civil society, a fact that – after having done the impossible – he has not managed to avoid, and for days, their henchmen have not stopped trying to disqualify and detract them. The Panamanian state collaborated with the dictatorship of Castro, harassing and arresting dissidents just as they were arriving in the country, and in the last hours there have been acts of condemnation and beating of Cubans, organized by the embassy and Panamanian groups of solidarity with Cuba, against opponents who have been invited to Civil Society Forum of the summit, a thing really embarrassing, although it was predictable. [3] We hope that this new transfer of Angel Santiesteban-Prats, and the recent cameras that violate the privacy of his visits, have nothing to do with the Summit and is not an attempt to silence his voice on this issue. [4] Whether or not Angel gets to send his opinion pieces on the subject — and especially on the dictatorship — we know what he thinks, and know better still that he is imprisoned just for thinking thus. We warn again that all eyes are on Angel and we will not wait a second to denounce new abuses that can be prepared for him. The editor [5] Translated by: Hombre de Paz [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Continue reading
[1]Angel Santiesteban Prats,Jaimanitas Border Patrol Prison, Havana, 12 February 2015 — Today February 12, 2015, precisely the day of opening of the Havana International Book Fair, various officials have come to me noting one of the recent complaints concerning the slavery of the prisoners in Cuba, their cheap labor, and the inhumane conditions with which they work twelve to fourteen hours a day, including the weekends or public holidays or non-working days. To make matters worse, they work with boots and torn and patched clothes, which they cannot even buy with their minimal, token salary — which sometimes doesn’t arrive on time — and they have to wait until the following month to cash it. Prisoners, like almost always, are fearful for reprisals when the inspection officers depart, since they hinted to them of the deprived circumstances in which they survive their sentence. I am pleased that, somehow, the blog fulfills the role for which it was created, which is nothing more than make justice prevail for the destitute, the fearful, or those who are unaware of the way in which their voices influence society. My generation, the vast majority, got tired of receiving the topics about which we should write, when the repressive government sends them through cultural officials. The truth is that somehow they will give you new boots and adequate clothing. They will not send them to work sick or beaten. Nor, or at least I suppose, while I am nearby, will they allow them to work well beyond the established hours. And they noted down in their agendas the type of job they perform and the fair payment that should receive, since the officials confirmed that prisoners are being swindled by their employers. We know that, unfortunately, a large part of Cubans do not have access to the Internet, but apparently the government is paying attention to a part of my complaints. I’m happy for them, but they do it only to conceal them, we hope they will be eradicating them. [2] Translated by: Hombre de Paz 4 March 2015 [1] [2] Continue reading
[1] “…one is what one does, and not what one writes.” José Martí Angel Santiesteban, Jaimanitas Border Patrol Prison, Havana, January 2015 — Ever since we were born, we heard our parents offer their political opinions in a low voice when they were of criticisms against the government. It was an act that we learned by imitation, something natural spawned in us as cultural training. Silence began to be part of our being. Look both ways before expressing a problematic point of view, this was a spontaneous act that was borderline naivety, but was actually a survival instinct. When I started to lose the fear, friends got frightened. They didn’t want to understand that even the word “political” in the mouth of an intellectual, was something completely contradictory because if the dictatorship had taught us anything, it was that it was using the national and Latin American artists to wave flags in their favor. But when it came to expressing discontent, it was an aberrant, demented act that – in clear words – was nothing more than hitting the wall with one’s head, and that seemed logical to no-one. For this the same “logic” with which they fertilized us across generations, we have endured more than half a century of dictatorship. It has been the most effective weapon of the regime against the Cuban population. First they enslaved our souls, then they have made us know the rigors in the body. [2] Ángel Santiesteban-Prats Translated by: Hombre de Paz 2 March 2015 [1] [2] Continue reading
Translated by Hombre de Paz 10 February 2015 Continue reading
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="169"] [1] Photo of the author[/caption] Although today [15 January] is a holiday only in the USA, I also in my own way celebrate it in Cuba. Why not join in the celebration of the birth of the Baptist pastor and fighter for civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr.? His life is inspirational for many of us, including me, who every day seek freedom and equality for human beings, all creatures of God.  His existence is one of my answers to those who in Cuba who question why I combine theology with social activism. I have not invented anything new. It is the most natural thing to combine ideas and actions, and this was what happened in the life of the Reverend King. His sermons, his philosophy, his methodology, his strategy of nonviolent struggle, his life and his martyrdom are an example to follow in any dark corner of the world, and also in the illuminated places, to prevent anyone ever to darken them. The last time that I mentioned his name to those who are responsible for repressing me in Cuba was on October 26, when I arrived from Poland, two agents from State security awaited me at the airport for questioning about my statements in the land of Lech Walesa and my subsequent activities and position in Cuba. According to them my pastoral ministry should be confined to the four walls of a church to which they would gladly cloister me. My answer was that in addition to the unsurpassed example of Jesus Christ, I admired and tried to imitate, except for the distances, transcendental beings such as the Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Catholic priest Jerzy Popieluszco and the Baptist pastor Martin Luther King Jr. To which one of them, with the obvious threat that the same thing could happen to me, he riposted: What a coincidence, that all of them are martyrs! Hopefully just like in August 1963, when he achieved that historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in Cuba soon we will be able to realize something similar of our own in Havana, which, as the successful artist Tania Bruguera [2]demonstrated in the recent events on December 30, so far remains forbidden to the people. In the midst of our Cuban reality of continual violations civil rights, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of our luminaries. Translated by: Hombre de Paz Spanish post [3] 19 January 2015 [1] [2] [3] Continue reading
Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro shortened the 90 longest miles of all history, and it begins to melt the ice in the Cuba Libre [lit. “Free Cuba”] also the name of a drink served over ice]. It is a … Continue reading Continue reading
All said and done, more than half of a list of 53 political prisoners that nobody knows are already free, completely secret and that nobody we ask clarifies for us. Of the fifty who were out, I have the list … Continue reading Continue reading
The delegation from Instituto Patmos, invited by United for Human Rights to the celebration of the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During all of 2014 this blog, Cubano Confesante, I examined the best part of the … Continue reading Continue reading
By Jeovany Jimenez Vega The decision by the governments of Cuba and the US to normalize diplomatic relations could go down in the record books as the news of the year – and among the most momentous world news of the century so far. … Continue reading Continue reading
Convivencia (Coeixistence) magazine salutes the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cuba and the United States of America. We hope that this climate of dialogue and negotiation is also established between the Government of the Republic of Cuba and … Continue reading Continue reading
The latest developments in negotiations between the authorities of the Cuban government and those of the United States augur interesting expectations for peoples on both sides of the Straits of Florida in the coming year of 2015. The announced normalization … Continue reading Continue reading
The Cuban Legal Association, through several of its specialists, legally dismantle in this video the farce mounted against the writer Angel Santiesteban-Prats, who is currently serving a prison sentence in a high-security Cuban jail. Here are analyzed, from the perspective … Continue reading Continue reading
When my wife Yoaxis Marcheco and I not did not find our names on the list of those enrolled for the doctorate in theology (PhD) course to be offered for the first time in Cuba, after a strong year in … Continue reading Continue reading
The members of our church are victims of a constant process of pressure, intimidation, blackmail, coercion and even recruitments in the midst of a psychological Cold War, whose ultimate goal would be my long-awaited resignation or recall as pastor. This … Continue reading Continue reading
One of the phenomena I gained insight into on my trip to Poland (June 2-15) is that my spirit and my body do not travel in unison. When I arrived at the Amsterdam airport the morning of Sunday the 2nd, … Continue reading Continue reading
It was midnight and Warsaw, if wrongly judged, seemed to be taken only by the good times, clubs and bars. A group of Cubans, enraptured by the magic of the city, proof that freedom can finally rise above the nightmare … Continue reading Continue reading
To visit the site in Warsaw of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights on the afternoon of the historic June 4, anniversary of those first elections with which Poles inaugurated their new period of democracy; to be received there with … Continue reading Continue reading
The first two deacons of the Old Mission Church, Our Lady of Joy, in Cuba, were ordained by Monsignor Ricardo Santiago Medina Salabarría, Primate Bishop of this church in Cuba, at eight o’clock on the night of the Wednesday nineteenth … Continue reading Continue reading
The then-president of the Cuban Book Institute could have been one of my witnesses in the trial that was set up against me, but our political differences and his official functions did not permit him to put himself on the … Continue reading Continue reading
WE ARE ALL HERE BUT WE HAVE NOT LEFT Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo The Tucumanian night of Miami seizes me with hunger and with no desire to leave the hotel. I am alone. They have already forgotten me, luckily. I … Continue reading Continue reading
Dear writers – French and from other nations present – critics, editors, translators, readers and the public in general: I do not deny to you that after several days the news of this event slept inside the prison, mocking the … Continue reading Continue reading
After three months moving from coast to coast of the United States like an off-balance electron, finally I receive a little from dirty faces, the smell of croquette and military comemierduría (“crap eating”). I deserved it: I already missed my … Continue reading Continue reading