Hatchet job

One of life’s sayings goes something like this: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The Cuban dictatorship has taken it to heart lately, although the prevention it practices — cracking down on its opponents before they have chance to state their case — is weighing a lot heavier than just a few ounces.
Earlier this month, it rounded up dissidents before they could join with Dr. Darsi Ferrer to commemorate International Human Rights Days. And now, using a “journalist” named Lazaro Barredo as its front man, it has gone on the attack against dissident human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez, just as his group — the illegal Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation — prepares to issue its biannual report on Cuban political prisoners.
Writing in Granma, of which he is the editor, Barredo launched a prototypical assault on Sanchez’s character, branding him as a “mercenary” for the United States.
Nothing new about. Anyone who dares to oppose the regime, and act on that opposition, is labeled as such by the dictatorship’s propaganda machine.
But it is somewhat peculiar that the regime would target Sanchez, one of the more moderate voices in the Cuban dissident community like this, instead of someone like Dr. Ferrer, who is much more radical, in words and actions, in his opposition to the dictatorship. Sanchez holds the dictatorship to account for its political prisoners, but in recent years — and especially since little brother raul castro took over — the numbers have been down. There’s always a chance, from the dictatorship’s perspective, that the bad news won’t be so bad.
Of course, the number of prisoners in the gulag is only one measure of the repressive nature of the regime. Attacks, like the one on Sanchez, are another.
For his part, Sanchez was unimpressed, labeling the attack as really coming from the maybe-retiring, definitely dying dictator, fidel castro.
He countered the propaganda volley from Granma, by issuing his own statement to the international press.
“As on other occasions, I could not exercise my right to respond since all newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations are property of the government of Cuba,” Sanchez said.
As for the cure that Cuba really needs, well, we’re still waiting.
For more, read Child of the Revolution and Encuentro a la Red.
(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense.)

1 thought on “Hatchet job”

  1. So Castro doesn’t want to “cling” to power. …doesn’t want to obstruct younger leaders. I mean, the man has done just that right up until he’s on his death bed and his supposed to believe he’s being magnanimous?

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