Okay, Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, who is now on a three month world tour, no more called for the release of five spies for the Castro government than Rush Limbaugh actually purchased a can opener for his mother so she could eat dog food. Let me explain:
The Miami Herald reported that ironic comments by Sanchez, currently in Brazil, were misunderstood to mean she supported the release of five agents sent by Cuba to spy on anti-Castro groups in Miami:
Attention all you folks who think of yourselves as counterculture types who demonstrate your rebelliousness by wearing Che Guevara T-shirts. The author of the most popular blog from Cuba, Yoani Sanchez who not only talks the talk but walks the walk, thinks you are absurd. The Generation Y blogger was the subject of a Miami Herald story on Saturday. We will get to her marvelous quote on the subject of Che T-shirts below the fold but first some fascinating information on the person who provides an inside look at what is really happening in Cuba which is often missed by news agencies on that island:
Yoani Sánchez, the blogger who has gained an international following detailing the absurdities of daily life in Cuba, is on the phone from her 14th-floor apartment in Havana, where the elevators rarely work. She speaks plainly, boldly, with none of the hemming and hawing common among folks on the island who fear their phones are tapped.
Sánchez is certain hers is. She is constantly followed, too. None of this stops her from finding ways, despite government attempts to block her, of continuing to post to Generación Y, the blog she launched in April 2007 and for which she has won several awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.
On May 11, your humble correspondent posted a story here about the lack of commentary on Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez's Generation Y threads at the Huffington Post. I pointed out that the Huffington Post folks basically yawned over a story reported by Yoani about how the Cuban government had a prohibition against Cubans accessing the Internet from hotels, which is about the only place where people down there can get on the Web.
My NewsBusters post went up at 22:00 ET and a little over a half hour later the comments started flooding in to add to the sole post that was there up until that time. As of now, there are 86 comments on that Yoani Sanchez thread which is very atypical. Usually, with one other exception where she got 26 comments, her HuffPo blogs, receive one or none in terms of responses. Why? Here was my explanation on May 11:
In many ways, the appearance of Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez, in the Huffington Post is a strange fit. Her posts tell "uncomfortable" truths that counter the leftwing attitude prevalent at the Huffington Post. However, few folks over there dare to attack her directly since she is not only talking the talk but walking the walk in that Communist island. So rather than argue with Yoani, most of her posts elicit little reaction.
Such was the case in Yoani's latest blog post in which a clandestine camera recorded a regime official denying internet access to a Cuban...because he is Cuban...at a Havana hotel. Yes, foreigners are permitted to go on the Web but this "privilege" is denied to Cuban nationals in a bizarre form of Communist apartheid. The reaction to this outrage from Huffington Post readers? None as of this writing except for one very funny yet incredibly sad comment which reflects perfectly the bizarre state of leftwing mentality. I beg you not to cheat and scroll to the end. To fully appreciate that comment you must first read (or watch the video) the transcript of the encounter between a Cuban denied access to the Web by a regime toadie. You can read the English translation of the video by placing your cursor over the center. Yoani Sanchez begins her blog by explaining the internet denial (for Cubans in Cuba) of internet access:
Saturday, May 9, I went to the Melia Cohiba hotel to check if the Internet access limitations for Cubans continue. Several friends had told me that the measure had been rescinded... but I wanted to check for myself. So Reinaldo and I went and made this little video.
The "tourist" who appears to be reading the newspaper Granma is me.
Ever notice the media love to report stories about people fighting the power, unless, of course, the power happens to be something the media favor?
A March 31 New York Times article about Cuba's Havana Biennial art festival highlighted several artists whose political statements were in line with the anti-American, communist outlook of the island's regime, while ignoring prominent Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who risked her freedom to protest government oppression.
During an open mic session at the festival, the award-winning Generacion Y blogger criticized Cuban policy and the lack of free expression. However, the Times did not mention her pro-free speech performance art or even cover it in a separate piece. Instead, most of the artists the paper described railed against the usual evils, such as capitalism, America and the bourgeoisie.
Afterwards, the government issued a condemnation that singled out Sanchez for “staging a provocation against the Cuban Revolution.” Fortunately, on Wednesday, Reuters reported the controversy: