While I dont agree with his stance on the embargo, good friend and colleague Alek Boyd talks about Cuba, Yoani and boots, kicks, blows, lock ins, torture, death and cars with yellow plates:
Last time I visited the Caribbean’s Alcatraz, I had the fortune of meeting Yoani Sanchez. We took a derelict bus and showed up unannounced at her house, just like that. One of the things I remember clearly was that the dial in Yoani’s building’s elevator had two number five, two number 10, and when we punched the 11th it took us instead to the 13th floor. There she was, minding her own things. She didn’t invite us in for somebody was fixing something in her apartment, so we went for a walk to a nearby place. Only in the streets on the way to the cafeteria, when we were walking, did she, and her husband Reinaldo Escobar, really opened up and talk freely. Honestly, I really wanted to meet her, after having read so many things, both positive and negative. In some respects, having endured attacks from chavistas and their leftist apologists worldwide for similar reasons, read publishing my thoughts in a blog, I empathised with Yoani’s cause.
Yoani is a young mother. The impression of her I was left with after our meeting, was that she is a brave, fair, entrepreneurial, intelligent, respectful and spiritual woman, in sum, someone I would never describe as a threat to a truly free and democratic society. Alas that’s not the case in Cuba, regardless how often UN bureaucrats, Zapatero and his cabinet ministers and Fidel Castro’s sycophants pretend it to be so. No. Cuba is a tropical hellhole. The poverty in Cuba is such that even people’s lives belongs to the State. And in places like Cuba, where communism rules supreme, is where rational individuals, such as Yoani, are a threat. For she thinks, she questions, she uses her intellect and free will for what it is, and not to come up with more ways of sucking up communist crap, or to justify the indefensible.
For that reason segurosos, read thugs from the State security apparatus, arrested and beat her up, for that’s the only thing their very limited intellect allows them to do. Follow orders blindly, without thinking, without questions. Those degenerated thugs can not even begin to understand noble ideals, such as freedom of conscience. And I disagree with Yoani, for it wasn’t a communist boot the one kicking and pressing her chest against the floor of the car with yellow plates where she was beaten into. No. Is the boot of PCness, the boot of unelected and faceless bureaucrats at the UN, OAS and other multilateral organisations, the boot of Europe and its stupid appeasement, the boot of Spain, the boot of diplomacy, the boot of the inhumanity of those who still pretend that Cuba is a free and democratic nation, the boot of Chavez and Venezuela’s petrodollars, the boot of the thousands of sex tourists and businessmen that travel to Cuba and see no wrong, the boot of the Church, of Hollywood and its fucking Sean Penns, the boot of the US and its irrational embargo, the boot of the collective of wretched human rights NGOs that criticise America for Guantanamo and fail to say a word about what happens to Yoani and people like her on the other side of the fence.
Yoani is not alone, but, tragically, those of us who are with her are few, scattered and without power, save the one that she has: the power to question, the power to think for ourselves. Someone who met Fidel Castro told me that he is an outstanding speaker, that the dictator has uncanny people’s skills. However I do believe that Yoani, in truly democratic conditions which is what internet as a medium represents, has singlehandedly exposed Castro and his whole communist charade. And it is for that reason that they beat the crap out of her, and will continue to do so. In the online world, words and actions are assessed in proper dimension and context. There’s no censorship here. Hence Yoani’s threat. Those of us who have exposed Castro’s mini me have been accused of being terrorists, which is perhaps the gravest thing the repressive apparatus can throw at us in free societies. No need for such niceties in Cuba. There Yoanis are dealt with boots, kicks, blows, lock ins, torture, death and cars with yellow plates that circulate in a land of no return, while the world continues to nod to Fidel Castro.