News and Facts about Cuba

The Solitude of the Desert

The Solitude of the Desert / Angel Santiesteban

Angel Santiesteban, Translator: Unstated

Translator's note: This post does NOT relate to Angel's most recent

arrest this week. It relates to a series of criminal charges the regime

fabricated against him in order to be able to imprison him as a

"criminal" rather than as a "political /"

for his writings.

Last Monday they finally decided to open my case to public view after

three years of continuous torture and false investigations, after the

withdrew more than five charges that came with the

exorbitant sum of 54 years in — which with still other charges

added another thirty years, so the total would be close to ninety years

of imprisonment for me — but some powerful hand decided dismiss them,

because they understood that they had not managed to make me afraid and

make me quit my blog: The Children Nobody Wanted, and also because

international opinion made them look ridiculous.

The trial was held in the special chamber of the Tribunal in the

neighborhood of Vibora (not coincidentally the name of the reptile

"viper"), for "known counterrevolutionaries"; there they also tried

Sebastian, the Spaniard who served several years unjustly; the 75

prisoners of the Black Spring, also innocent; and, recently, the U.S.

contractor Alan who is serving an unjust prison in Cuba.

When we arrived at the court the members of "State Security" were

already assembled on the perimeter, in my honor, a peculiar deployment

in the style of totalitarian regimes. There were official cars

parked there and some covert interceptions in surrounding the entire

area. They also had at the ready the famous paramilitary mobs, the

supposed "enraged people" who throw themselves on the Ladies in White

and the rest of the opposition, which, according to the official

version, "come spontaneously to undertake acts of repudiation," who

looked at us coldly, full of hatred, like the hounds of the ranchers,

eager to jump on the escaped slave at an order from the master.

As expected, the prosecution presented no plausible or forceful

evidence, merely expounding with hollow words, lacking the slightest

credibility. The laughable part was when the expert, Lieutenant Colonel,

said that, based on calligraphic tests, I was guilty, because of the

idiotic detail of the size and angle of my writing. My lawyer asked if

the expert if this was a hypothesis, an evaluation; what the officer

said was he was 100% sure that I was guilty and that there was no margin

for error.

That was the "evidence" presented by the prosecution, and, for that

reason, the request remained for six years in prison. That is: I will be

found guilty only of something as vague and imprecise as the size and

tilt my handwriting? I think I'll be the first writer accused in the

history of mankind for writing with "some" tilt, and drawing my letters

in a very suspicious size.

However, by the Defense presented a variety of witnesses who claimed my

innocence regarding the false charges brought against me. The defense

showed, in addition to the lack of knowledge of the literature in the

expert, errors in structure, form and fact in the accusations and

exposed false prosecution strategies, and its failed attempt to try to

trap an innocent person who had convincingly more than demonstrated his

innocence regarding the charges against him. The defense also mentioned

a number of authors that scientifically demonstrate that calligraphic

proofs are not an exact science, and that their results can not be used

as "unequivocal" evidence, due to the wide margin of error that exists

in every evaluation.

According to friends who were present at the hearing, some of them

lawyers, former judges and former prosecutors, they said it was a shame

that the prosecution presented such an obvious farce, and that, surely,

there was no doubt that it had been shown that the charges brought

against me had no seriousness. But some assured me that, before starting

the trial the decision was already determined, that the verdict is not

decided by the judges when there exists, as in my case, a political

criterion to decide my innocence or not.

Also attending was a representative the "Union of Writers and Artists of

Cuba" (UNEAC), and the legal entity representing that institution, who

remained at the trial, and said that, from his point of view, they

should, without any doubt, dictate my acquittal.

Finally it finished with the conclusions for sentencing, which the

would dictate in the coming days, but not before warning me that if I

did not concur with the opinion, I would have ten days to appeal.

I insisted, as an innocent person, that I would not accept even a five

peso fine, and that I would serve any time in prison to which I was

sentenced, from the first day on hunger strike.

Upon leaving the court, one of the agents of "State Security" reported

by phone that they did not need to send anyone, that what they expected

did not happen, that everything was in order and in tranquility, and no

"indisciplines" had been committed.

I did not give them the pleasure of abusing those who wished to seek

justice for me, and showing their disagreement with government abuses to

the opponents of the regime. They were expecting some "indiscipline" as

an excuse to beat us. Anyway they saw us marching and their eyes stabbed

us in the back.

Now come the hours of waiting for the sentence, that will be rendered

against the decision of an honest Cuban to inform the world, through his

blog, of the abuses committed by the Cuban regime.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

November 2 2012

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