Secretary Gutierrez on Yoani

Last night the Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, appeared on CNN’s Newsroom with Rick Sanchez. He spoke about the economy and after a commercial break Rick asked him about Yoani Sanchez:

SANCHEZ: Tonight, something about the Internet. It’s given us so many things, some of it good, some of it not so good, most of it pretty darn helpful. It’s also given us this.

In Cuba, there’s a young woman that’s named Yoani Sanchez, who blogs about daily life there in Cuba every day. Now, remember, Cuba doesn’t tolerate dissent. So on the Internet, she’s doing what most there don’t or simply can’t.

Let’s bring the Secretary of Commerce back in. Now, you’re the administration’s point man on just about all things Cuba, help to set up a post-Castro policy. “Time” magazine says that Yoani is one of the most influential people in the world. What do you want people to know about this young lady?

GUTIERREZ: A very courageous young woman who has had the audacity to blog in Cuba, which is very difficult to do, given that the Internet is basically illegal. And the reason it’s important, Rick, to bring her to the attention of the world is that she’s getting harassed. She feels like she is at the point where she doesn’t know how safe she is and it’s important that the world keep an eye on her.

She is blogging, she’s using the Internet and now she’s considered, you know, an enemy of the state. She’s being accused of being a foreign intelligence officer. She’s a 32-year-old woman who simply is telling the world about what her life is like in Cuba.

The world needs to keep an eye on her because something could happen to her over the next several weeks and we shouldn’t allow that to happen.

SANCHEZ: I know it’s a very important story to you. You and I have had several conversations about her. Let me go ahead and give that Web site, by the way. It’s desdecuba.com, which essentially translates in “from Cuba.com,” slash generationy or generacion i griega, generationy.

So, you know, we’ll try and put it up. We’ll have it on our website. You could see it if you’re interested more in this story. Again, “Time” magazine says she’s one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

GUTIERREZ: It’s a great cause.

SANCHEZ: Mr. Secretary, thanks for taking questions from our viewers tonight and talking to us straight about the economy.

GUTIERREZ: Always a pleasure, Rick. Thank you.

The Secretary is absolutely correct. Recently the BS Artist-in-chief, fidel castro himself, mentioned Yoani in one of his reflecciones cagalitrosas and Yoani’s husband went after castro with reckless abandon on his own blog.

We need to keep Yoani’s international profile up. If there’s one thing the regime is afraid of it’s bad press. If they jail one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2008 she might make number one in 2009. There’s no way the regime can afford that. So we need to keep her profile up because the regime knows it’s prepared to weather a minor storm not a major media hurricane.