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Reports from Cuba: An Open Letter to the European Community

By Angel Santiesteban in Translating Cuba:

Open Letter to the European Community

I am addressing each one of the twenty-eight nations which make up the European Community, to demand more depth, through an exhaustive investigation with free people, unencumbered and unafraid, to find a just consensus to the national issues of the Island, more so when we know that the historic practice, in more than a half century of socialism, has not been the welfare of the people, but the maintenance of the cruel machinery for the sake of their “Iron Totalitarian Power,” the imprisonment and daily repression of dissenters, and the mysterious deaths of opposition leaders.

I appeal to you, in the light of the recent decision of your Foreign Ministers, to open up a bargaining agreement with Havana, which we consider to be a grave mistake, in view of the fact that while the European Union was arriving at this agreement, the regime was imprisoning its opponents.

We hope that you do not see Cuba as a palliative to help you solve the crisis you are dealing with, at the cost of permitting the violation of our rights.

Exposing ourselves to risk, we have learned that the Castro brothers will never permit any imposition which gives any space for opposition, so that they have not even signed the United Nations Covenants, which in this 21st century should be the minimum indispensable requirement for the self-respect of any state, in the face of the international community; achieving this, and thus liberty and respect for the opposition, would be the contribution that the European Community could present to the Cuban people, and in turn this would be a credible step forward on the part of the Raúl Castro government, showing that it really is its intention to provide openings and improvements in terms of the Human Rights of the Cuban people.

In actual fact, they have filled up the jails with young people who, without any other option, have preferred to be criminals rather than submit to hunger and the absence of basic necessities. In those prisons, you will find many professionals, “embezzlers”, who have had the same misfortune as those who haven’t studied, since they haven’t had the opportunity to emigrate, as is the case with the overwhelming majority.

With respect, we urgently request that the European Community does not change its Common Position, without previously assuring itself in respect of the necessary change for the political democratisation of the Cuban archipelago.


Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton prison settlement. February 2014.
Please sign the petition for Amnesty International declare the dissident Cuban Angel Santiesteban to be a prisoner of conscience

Translated by GH
26 February 2014

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