Monday, October 19, 2009

The call on Saturdays

Paneque is an independent journalist among the 75 arrested during the Black Spring round-up in 2003; he was sentenced to 24 years in prison and is now at Las Mangas Prison in Bayamo. Prisoners can only make one weekly 25 minute call, on Saturday. On occasion he uses his scant time to call me, both to say hello and to dictate his posts. We post his writings on Pablo Pacheco’s blog, who shares his space with his fellow companions of the cause, which has become the Voice of some of the prisoners of conscience.

This Saturday when Paneque called me he was a little sad because he didn’t have visitors; the prison is under quarantine because of an epidemic of conjunctivitis that he himself is suffering from. His call was mainly to try to dictate a message of congratulations to the president of the United States, Barack Obama, for his recent Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately he was almost unable to talk to me; a person whose only function is to listen in on his telephone calls intervened because he considered the conversation counterrevolutionary.

Here is a link to the recording, on the Spanish site of this blog, of the interrupted dialog.

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