As we have been writing about the last couple of days, too much weight and responsibility has been placed on Yoani Sanchez, the Cuban blogger and dissident currently on the Brazil leg of her world tour. Yoani has done some amazing things and she deserves the all the credit and accolades given her, but we must also be cognizant of the fact that she is not the leader of the dissident movement in Cuba nor does she speak for the thousands of opposition members on the island. She is, however, the Cuban dissident with the loudest voice, and we thank the media for allowing a dissenting voice against the tyranny of the Castro dictatorship to be heard far and wide. Nevertheless, the loudest voice does not mean the only voice.
We are reminding everyone about this not with the intention of belittling or diminishing Yoani’s point of view, but to elevate the voices of other opposition leaders and members in Cuba who have not had the good fortune of the media providing them with extensive coverage. The news coverage of Yoani’s statements tends to portray her view, especially regarding the U.S. embargo against the Castro dictatorship, as a singular view shared by all dissidents in Cuba. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Therefore, it is only fair that other views from Cuba be given equal consideration.
Yesterday, we showcased the views of former political prisoner and opposition leader Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, and today, we are publishing the views of another prominent dissident in Cuba and a former political prisoner, Hector Palacios.
“I think the first reform that any Cuban who leaves the island should ask the world is to demand that the Cuban government recognizes the opposition. If the Cuban opposition is not recognized, there can’t be a dialogue, so there’s no use in talking about lifting the embargo. [Yoani] would need to have spent some time in political prison to understand that it would be of no use for the U.S. to lift its embargo toward the Cuban government, unless beforehand, the regime lifts its embargo toward the Cuban people.”