Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A(n) (In)famous Cuabn Blogger: The Cyber-Iron Curtain

Cuba is no foreigner when it comes to human rights violations. The fact that you can be carted of to jail or be killed for speaking out against the government or Communism is beyond most people. But, this is just how it goes in Cuba. No, its not because they are on Left side of politics and the U.S. is supposedly on the Right: lets drop the cold war linguistics and ideology.

Cuba is a bit like China when it comes to the cyber-world and human rights for that matter. Sure, you can use a computer, but more often than not, you're too poor to afford one, and when you can finally log on there is a convenient "cyber-wall" around the island. Sounds like a familiar scene when we look at Cuban and Cuban-American history.

One person able to pierce this sort of cyber-iron curtain is blogger, Yoani Sánchez. She was jailed and beaten. Another prominent fellow blogger, Orlando Luís Pardo Lazo, was also treated the same way. Both of these individuals were thrown into an unmarked vehicle, beaten, and threatened before being thrown back onto the street.

Why was Sanchez targeted? Because she is exposing the true look of Cuban life, and she has ideas that run counter to what the government there wants going around. They label her a "counterrevolutionary," which is rather hilarious considering what she puts on the internet is only counter THE revolution, not A revolution.

Sanchez cites how ironic the occasion was since she and some friends were on their way to a march against violence, and she has since written about the incident on her blog, "I refused to get into the bright Geely-made car and we demanded they show us identification or a warrant to take us. Of course they didn’t show us any papers to prove the legitimacy of our arrest. The curious crowded around and I shouted, “Help, these men want to kidnap us,” but they stopped those who wanted to intervene with a shout that revealed the whole ideological background of the operation, “Don’t mess with it, these are counterrevolutionaries.” In the face of our verbal resistance they made a phone call and said to someone who must have been the boss, “What do we do? They don’t want to get in the car.” I imagine the answer from the other side was unequivocal, because then came a flurry of punches and pushes, they got me with my head down and tried to push me into the car. I held onto the door… blows to my knuckles… I managed to take a paper one of them had in his pocket and put it in my mouth. Another flurry of punches so I would return the document to them."

What is most hilarious about the Cuban government in this insistence is that this will and has spawned an uptick in readership of her blog. So there Cuban-Commie-government-bastards!