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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba: Prison Diary X. The ’5′ (Sybarites) Don’t Like Chicken

By Angel Santiesteban writing from a Cuban prison cell:

Prison Diary X. The “5? (Sybarites) Don’t Like Chicken

Nutritious Diet

The prisoners I share this barracks with tell me they read in the newspaper Granma that the 5 spies condemned in the U.S. complained because their jailers had offered them chicken twice. That is, they were protesting because they repeated the menu.

When I was free, I always heard these comments that seemed absurd and I immediately looked for a way to find someone on the internet to verify with. Now, in the conditions in which I survive in this prison it’s impossible to verify anything.

The truth is that it makes me laugh the way the prisoners here with me hear the news. I’ve heard several times, and I always have to laugh: this repetition of chicken that the spies complain of would be a reasons for a celebration among the inmates in this prison.

Some Fridays, on a holiday, they deliver what is normally recognized as a fourth of a chicken. That day the dining room is full. The other days it’s preferable to be on hunger strike. I myself, for example, spent five days without going to the dining room. I prefer to survive on cookies and toast that my family brings and that I keep, like a treasure, in a sack.

I have also read the statements of the Spanish political, Angel Carromero, who was driving the car in which we lost Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. He said that his six months of imprisonment in Cuba was enough to leave him traumatized and needing medical help.

We have to remember that Carromero was held in a special prison for foreigners, that he also had the oversight of the embassy, and the obvious treatment of the political police to “sweeten him up,” so that the real version of what happened that fateful day won’t come to light.

We should ask, regardless of any prison, wherever it is, it’s always difficult to face and endure, what’s left for us who are in these inhumane prisons, with almost no food and with the extra weight of the known evil prosecutions for justice?

Neither the 5 spies nor Carromero know what a prison really is.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

La Lima Prison. April 2013.

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