A Caricature of Angel Santiesteban’s Trial
A Caricature of Angel Santiesteban's Trial
March 21, 2013
Maria Matienzo Puerto
HAVANA TIMES — The last time I spoke with Angel, I told him to have
faith, because the truth always ends up coming out. At the same time I
wondered why a feminist had to defend an alleged spouse abuser. Were the
These questions didn't make me doubt the innocence of Angel
Santiesteban. Instead, they gave me reasons to write about this subject.
With this narcissist melee (in some cases) the reasons were clarified in
I say this because violence against women and girls can't be a political
pretext for stifling an uncomfortable voice among Cuban intellectuals.
To accept a trial like the one that ended up sentencing Angel turns the
struggle against violence directed at women and girls into a cartoon, a
farce, a stupid joke.
In the Alamar community where I live, in its 48 six-floor apartment
buildings, in more than half of them there are or have been acts of
violence against women or girls. So how can we allow someone to lie to
us and then carry that lie — forged on the pain of others — to the
I don't think I'm going to add much more to what has already been
discussed online about Angel. This diary post and an interview with
Wilfredo Vallin (the president of the Cuban Law Association, an
independent NGO in Cuba), who was closely following the process,
clarifies some points that initially appeared obscure to me.
There's no question that Angel Santiesteban's sentence means our
continuing to accept our condemnation to breadcrumbs when we really
deserve more: the right to express ourselves freely, to think freely,
more access to social networks, to information. The list is very long.
It was a trial that affects us all.
After 55 years, the gates of the island and its immovable and obsolete
system are opening. Given that UMAP and other repressive institutions
don't scare anyone any more; this may be a new strategy for filling us
with the fear to speak about what actually happens between our four walls.
Angel Santiesteban might be the scapegoat with which they're showing us
how our own hides could end up.