HAVANA TIMES — Cuban writer Angel Santiesteban — who was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “trespassing and physical assault” in relation to his former wife — responded on Monday to a letter that was directed against him, initially signed by eight female Cuban intellectuals.
Based on his response published by the Café Fuerte website, the writer finds it ironic that the authors “have not raised their pens even once to reject or denounce the grave and continuing physical and moral violations that have been and are suffered by the Ladies in White.”
Although Santiesteban said the signatories of the letter “do not possess the elements necessary to discern and arrive at their own truths”, he didn’t deny being the perpetrator of attacks on his former wife.
The Cuban author has denounced the irregularities in the judicial process and what he considers part of a government maneuver to silence his writings that criticize the system.
Letter From Angel Santiesteban to Eight Cuban Writers
Centro Penitenciario Lima, Guanabacoa, Monday, March 11.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, there appeared in the blog published by Henry Ubieta a note signed by various writers who belong to UNEAC. This statement referred to my legal situation.
It is obvious that these ladies (from some of whom I continue to conserve kind emails and dedications sent to me) do not have the elements necessary to discern and arrive at their own truths, though at the same time I understand the fear of the possible consequences of refusing to accept an official proposition, no matter how indecent it might be.
I find it ironic, however, that those writers who so emphatically reject violence against women, crouching on the false accusations against me and wielding conjecture concerning my trial, have not raised their pen even once to reject or denounce the severe and constant physical and moral violations they have been suffered by and continue to be suffered by the Ladies in White, symbols of bravery and peaceful resistance in Cuba.
I never heard their outraged voices when the shameful and detestable acts of repudiation occurred in front of Laura Pollan’s house, in which other women who behave as if they weren’t, actively participated in insulting and hitting people under the usual guise of “an inflamed people.”
Where are the complaints of these female voices of the intelligentsia and official literature whenever a woman of the opposition is savagely beaten, fracturing her bones, sentenced to imprisonment without due process, humiliated and violated in front of her children and family?
The double standard of these writers is truly painful.
They embody all the decadence and falsity of a system that manages to convert into dusty agents those beings who should be connected with creation and beauty.
I know someday they’ll regret not having been honest and consistent with their gifts and their intelligence.
Angel Santiesteban Prats