Cuban dissident writer and blogger Angel Santiesteban has been sentenced to 5 years in prison on charges of "home invasion" and "injuries," common crimes the Castro dictatorship twisted to its purposes to retaliate against Santiesteban for his blogging and other writing.
The case, such as it is, has been pending for 3 1/2 years, and had earlier also included charges of attempted murder, rape, child abuse and other crimes, which had already been dismissed.
The prosecution picked up steam a month ago, when police arrested Santiesteban and other dissidents -- including famed blogger Yoani Sanchez -- when they went to a police station to stand vigil on behalf of other jailed dissidents. During that confrontation, a State Security officer told Santiesteban that he deserved a harsher punishment than the 5 years in prison he was facing, according to MartiNoticias.
Santiesteban, a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, said that with the 5-year sentence, the Castro regime is trying to show other Cuban intellectuals what can happen if they speak out.
Santiesteban was not immediately jailed. His lawyer says he has 10 days to file an appeal with Cuba's supreme court, which then will have up to three months to issue a final ruling.
Santiesteban said he is not confident an appeal will be successful.