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The writer and former Cuban political prisoner Ángel Santiesteban Prats wins the Václav Havel Prize


Angel Santiesteban Prats

Twitter / @ BlogAngelSP

Cuban writer and former political prisoner Ángel Santiesteban Prats won the Václav Havel 2020 “Disturbing the Peace” Award on Thursday, in recognition of his position as a “brave writer at risk”.

In the verdict, the jury highlighted the work of the writer, a social commentator and blogger, who has been the subject of continuous harassment and accusations by the Havana regime for his defense of human rights on the island.

The award, which will be presented at an online gala on September 24, includes the sum of $ 5,000 and a one-month residency at the Václav Havel Library in Prague, the entity announced.

The document recalls that in 2012 Santiesteban Prats was sentenced to five years in prison for his opposition to the dictatorship of the Castro brothers. And that after leaving the prison he continued to be the target of pressure from the authorities.

Born in Havana in 1966, the writer has a degree in Film Direction. In 1989 he received a mention in the Juan Rulfo contest, organized by Radio Francia Internacional. A decade later he won the César Galeano Prize, which is organized by the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Literary Center, and in 2001, the Alejo Carpentier Prize, from the Cuban Book Institute.

Added to the list of recognitions is the 2006 Casa de las Américas Prize for his storybook Blessed are those who cry. Not to mention that in 2013 he received the Franz Kafka International Prize for Novels by Gaveta, organized by the Czech Republic for the novel The summer when God slept.

Santiesteban Prats was also distinguished with the Reinaldo Arenas Award 2016 for his book The return of Mambrú, awarded by the Cuban Independent Writers Club (CEIC), Neo Club Ediciones and Vista-Puente de Letras.

His most recent work includes his participation as co-writer of the film Plantados, a production made in Miami about the political prison in Cuba during the 1960s.

Arturo Arias-Polo covers theater, television, popular music, and film, among other topics related to Miami’s cultural life. He is a graduate of the University of Havana.