A few weeks ago I wrote, Blogging Doesn’t Come Easy in Cuba, about a Cuban blogger named Yoani Sanchez. Known world-wide as one of Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People, for her blog criticizing the Cuban government, Yoani was attacked last Friday. There is no confirmation on whether the government was behind this, however evidence proves otherwise. Sanchez was walking with other bloggers to an anti-government protest when they were thrown into a car.
“Sanchez, 34, said she experienced “25 minutes of terror” during the incident on Friday. She said she and another opposition blogger, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, were held down, and struck repeatedly after being bundled into an unmarked car by three men she believed to be government security officials.
“She said they were struck several times before being thrown from the vehicle near her home in what she viewed as a warning from the government to cease her dissident blogging.
“Tell Yoani to shut up,” one of the men said repeatedly to Pardo as he held him down.
“When she shouted for bystanders to help, the men warned them away, saying the two were “counter-revolutionaries.” Sanchez said they hit her on the head, legs and buttocks as they pinned her against a car seat.
Hearing this not only angers but scares me at the same time. Only 90 miles off the Florida shore, I imagine the life of a Cuban. The struggles, the rations, the devastation that they live every day, makes me appreciate the freedom and the liberty that the United States has given me and encourages me as a citizen and a woman to use those rights for the good.
On Capitol Hill, Members of Congress spoke out criticizing the Cuban government. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE) said it best:
“Yoani Sanchez has been a symbol of courage in one of the most dangerous press environments in the world, and I strongly condemn attempts by the government of Cuba to silence her. If Cuba is ever to improve its standing with the community of nations, it must protect human rights for all people, including political dissidents, members of the press, and bloggers. I hope the Cuban government realizes that this act violates freedom of expression, and it is critical that the perpetrators of this crime are punished and justice is served.”
Thankfully, Yoani is now safe left with just a few bumps and bruises. She vows to continue writing her blog. Like she said, I’m going to keep writing. The blogger spirit is intact.”
I admire the courage and determination that Yoani possesses and I hope that people around the world can continue to read her story from Cuba. Hopefully in my lifetime, Cuba can be free from turmoil, persecution and communism.