I am sure the CAFE people (Cuban Americans for Engagement) were as heartened by the despicable actions of their Castro dictatorship brethren as they were heartbroken by their dismal failure to silence Yoani Sanchez.
Havana diplomats at UN try to block Yoani Sanchez news conference
Cuban diplomats at the United Nations complained “heavy-handedly” about a news conference by blogger Yoani Sánchez at a U.N. auditorium hosted by journalists accredited to the international body, knowledgeable reporters said.
Sánchez’s appearance before the U.N. Correspondents Association went ahead as scheduled at 3 p.m. Thursday, but its location had to be shifted because of the Cuban complaints, according to association members and news media reports.
The blogger’s supporters have expressed suspicions that Cuban diplomats arranged or encouraged most of the hostile groups that tried to disrupt several of Sánchez’s recent appearances in Brazil, Mexico and New York City.
The protesters have repeatedly chanted and displayed banners with pro-Castro slogans, repeated Havana allegations that Sánchez is a “mercenary” on the pay of the U.S. government and thrown enlarged copies of U.S. dollars at her.
But the Cuban diplomats’ complaints against the UNCA news conference marked the first time that officials of Cuba’s communist-run government are confirmed to have tried to disrupt a Sánchez public appearance.
The Cuban complaints noted that UNCA planned to host the news conference in the U.N. auditorium used regularly for news conferences, in violation of regulations that U.N. spaces can only be used by member nations, the journalists said. The event was shifted to a smaller room on the same floor as UNCA’s offices.
“They acted very heavy-handedly in this,” said one of the reporters, who asked for anonymity to avoid souring relations with Cuba’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations.
The Cubans’ complaints, in official letters known as démarches, were sent Monday to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, under secretary general for Public Information, according to the journalists.
Signed by Cuban Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes, the letters alleged that the news conference would be “an anti-Cuban action” and a “grave attack” on the climate of cooperation in the United Nations, according to the French AFP news agency. The secretary general should “not allow the organization’s spaces to be tarnished and their use manipulated by spurious interests,” the letter added.
Sánchez denounced the Cuban complaints during her news conference and said that it’s time for the United Nations to “come out of its lethargy and recognize that the Cuban government is a dictatorship.”
“If this meeting was being held in the bottom of an elevator shaft, we would have more freedom than in Cuba,” she said. “I am proud that my first time in this very significant U.N. building is with my journalism colleagues.”
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