Reports from Cuba: The Trials
Ángel Santiesteban, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, and Gorki Águila have in common that they dissent from the Cuban regime. The first was tried in a court so lacking in due process guarantees that he was declared by his attorney to be in a state of defenselessness, based on Cuban law.
The witnesses for his defense, who could have declared that they were with him at the time when, it was said, the events occurred, were dismissed. His son, a minor, gave a confusing statement that his father wasn’t in the house the day Santiesteban’s ex-wife alleged he had attacked her. (Clearly he was somewhere else, in the Masonic Lodge with his brothers who were later his defense witnesses.)
The first declaration of his ex-wife spoke of a fight, the second day it appeared she had been sexually attacked, and by the end she accused him of nothing short of attempted murder. There was no evidence of any of these three things.
The only prosecution witness appeared in a video confessing that he had been given a mobile phone and some clothes so that he would lie. To they eliminated the charges of rape and attempted murder, but not the one of attack, for which there was no evidence at all.
They called in an official forensic handwriting expert, who said that the slant of Santiesteban’s handwriting indicates a violent personality, and with this the trial ended.
Santiesteban is in prison, where he has been exactly one year as of this February. The woman with whom he has shared his life for five years never doubted his integrity and visits him in prison. His ex-wife who is the one who accused him is also the mother of his son and everything indicates she acted out of spite and passionate vengeance to the life and successful relationship of her former spouse.
The case of Manuel Cuesta Morúa is recent. He has been charged under the offense of “Dissemination of false news against International Peace.” His trial is pending despite the irrationality of the whole thing.
Gorki Águila, the lead singer of the band Porno para Ricardo (Porn for Ricardo), will be subjected to a summary trial this coming Tuesday. He gave me an interview that was published in Cubanet and also reproduced in this blog some months ago.
In it he said that he was sitting on a wall of a central Havana street in the company of a friend, when a police patrol stopped in front of him and, just like that, said he was being arrested. In his backpack they found two Tradea pills, a medicine for epilepsy, which he has suffered from for 20 years.
At that time at least Gorki was able to get the doctor who gave him the prescription, in Mexico, to expedite a clinical history explaining why he takes this medication. This document was endorsed by all the relevant Mexican authorities and delivered by them to the Cuban embassy in Mexico.
Despite this, the authorities, who are covering up something more sinister, insist on holding the trial. We, his friends, are worried and have no confidence in the summary proceeding to be held against him on Tuesday, 11 February — at the Court at 100th and 33rd in Marianao — because on occasions the judgements are dictated before the trials.
The attorney defending him will only be able to see his case file at the time of the trial, has had to prepare his defense in the abstract. The good news is she is confident that there is no way to prove that the Tradea was anything more than what it is: a medicine indicated for the disease suffered by the accused.
But we are in Cuba. It is a Kafkaesque reality. We are immersed in it; it’s a nightmare we want to wake up from. Many lives have been arbitrarily destroyed. The worst form of the evil complicit with the Havana regime is that contributed by the Leftists worldwide.
Even the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States didn’t have the courage or ethical commitment to look and address themselves to what is behind the discourse of the Cuban dictators, at the recently completed 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
I cling to the hope of a stroke of luck, that would have nothing coincidental about it but when it looks so bad, our liberation has to be possibly precisely because it seems impossible.