News and Facts about Cuba

From Villa Marista They Threaten to Delay Angel Santiesteban’s Release

From Villa Marista They Threaten to Delay Angel Santiesteban’s Release
/ Lilianne Ruiz
Posted on June 13, 2015

Lilianne Ruiz, 12 June 2015 –Last Saturday, officials of Section 21 of
the Ministry of the Interior returned to take Santiesteban from the
where he is held in Jaimanita to Villa Marista. There he spent
twelve hours in an office listening to threats from two MININT officers
who told him “Why would we free you if some Sunday you’re going to meet
with the Ladies in White and we’ll put you back in prison.”

Angel got two and a half years in prison, although the Ministry of
Justice accepted the appeal for review of the judgment filed by his
lawyer, which showed that he was a victim of a spurious trial, because
of the slanders of his ex-wife. This June he is rightfully entitled to
parole. His friends and family hope he will be released before the
September visit of the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

While waiting for his , Angel reads tirelessly. And writes. He
completed 36 interview questions for his friend and editor Amir Valle,
some stories, and is also working on a screenplay inspired by his work
“13 South Latitude.” To counteract the heroic-epic view of the war in
Angola being promoted by the latest films produced by ICAIC (Cuban
Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry) on the subject.

He writes literally cloistered in the 3 by 4 meter kennel where they
keep him, and from where they only let him leave once a week to walk 20
steps to talk on the phone, and every 21 days to walk 40 steps to the
courtyard where he is visited by relatives and a friend. The place is in
a military unit west of Havana. He writes with a pencil, so he asks his
friends for 0.7mm leads. His writing is very clear, no smudges or
doodles. Like a scholar’s writing. I can’t help but remember that the
slant of his writing—which seems delicate to me, like a high
student writing his first poems—was the only evidence presented by the
* to try to prove his alleged violent nature.

This month, according to Cuban law, he is eligible for parole. His
friends and family impatiently wait for that day. His daughter excitedly
tells him that she got the second choice on her application for seeking
a degree. And his son wants to be a writer like him.

He told me that to stay in shape he runs the perimeter of his cell for
an hour. He has calluses under the big toe because it has to flex every
3 steps.

Posted in El de Jerónimo

*Translator’s note: A “handwriting expert” was called as a witness in
Angel’s trial and testified that his penmanship — the size and slant of
his letters — was proof of his guilt. (No, we are not making this up!)

12 June 2015

Source: From Villa Marista They Threaten to Delay Angel Santiesteban’s
Release / Lilianne Ruiz | Translating Cuba –

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