Reports out of Cuba that blogger Yoani Sanchez was beaten up are obviously appalling, but represent no surprise to me. While the OAS and Zapatero et al. want us all to believe that something has changed in Cuba, nothing has. The true surprise is why Yoani Sanchez was allowed to go this far without a warning. Or why they let her go when kidnapped and beaten yesterday. Was it a message to others that security forces will continue to repress and jail those that dare dissent from the official line?
After all, if well known Yoani Sanchez can be kidnapped and beaten up like this, those bloggers that are not as well known abroad or have not won any awards can be disappeared at will. Because nothing really has changed in Cuba beyond Castro being old and ill, despite what the hypocrite leaders of the world and Latin America would like you to believe. It’s a double standard that we see everywhere, Castro can repress, Chavez can block the CIDH from coming to Venezuela, Ortega can stage his Constitutional coup, but Zelaya becomes an icon for the defense of democracy in the Hemisphere.
That is why today, beyond Human Rights Watch, I have not been able to find any official condemnation of the brutal attack of this young woman who has more guts than all of the leaders of Latin America put together. I imagine Lula Da Silva does not want to offend the macabre Dictator of Cuba, Zapatero and Moratinos must be busy rewriting the new Spanish immigration law in a way that Franco would be proud of them and Obama and Hillary don’t want to step on Raul’s toes, so as not to affect the phantom thawing of US-Cuban relations. Chavez, of course, would never offend his pathetic alter ego, but he no longer has a clue about what human rights are, if ever he had any.
To bloggers, it matters, in particular to Alex, Daniel, Juan and me, because we try to fight Governments that abuse their people, Yoani Sanchez is very special, because we know the difficulties she has faced to be heard, while we can still express ourselves with ease, even if the threats are always there. Because Yoani blogs in a Dictatorship, where everyone is under suspicion and surveillance, where your neighbors may be your enemies and where the boot of the repressor is right around the corner. She has pushed the boundaries over and over and managed surprisingly to get very far.
The surprise is that she managed to do so much without an ugly incident like yesterday’s taking place. The hope and the prayer is that it will not go beyond that scare. While others want to forget the thousands killed, disappeared and repressed by the Castro Dictatorship, nobody should forget and it is shameful that the wimpy leaders of the world’s democracies are silent in the face of this symbolic act which simply reiterates the true nature and spirit of the Castro Dictatorship.
Salud Yoani! That you may soon get all of the rights you risk your life to defend!