Blogland,  Human Rights

Yoani Sanchez seized and beaten

Almost a year ago, the great dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez (Generation Y) was warned by the Interior ministry that she had “transgressed all the limits of tolerance.” It didn’t stop her from her brave challenges to the Castro regime on Generation Y or her work encouraging and teaching other Cubans to blog.

Now The Miami Herald reports:

Famed Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez said Friday she and another blogger were punched and thrown violently into a car by presumed state security agents as they walked to participate in a peaceful march in downtown Havana.

“No blood, but black and blues, punches, pulled hairs, blows to the head, kidneys, knee and chest,” Sánchez told El Nuevo Herald shortly after she and Orlando Luis Pardo were freed. “In sum, professional violence.”

“I, being a person of verbal pacifism, am shaken by this violence, because violence silences anyone,” the blogger declared in a telephone interview.

Sánchez, the best-known Cuban blogger on the island and off, said she and bloggers Pardo and Claudia Cadelo and a woman friend were walking to join a “march against violence” organized by several young musicians when they were intercepted by three men in civilian clothes. Cuba’s state security service agents frequently operate out of uniform.

Surely the Cuban authorities knew this brutal attack on a well-known blogger would be instantly and widely reported. So why do it? The only explanation I can come up with is that Yoani’s peaceful activities have so undermined the regime’s stale propaganda that they believed the possible benefits (intimidating Yoani into silence) outweighed the risks.

Perhaps readers in countries with Cuban embassies should make them aware that in this instance, the whole world is indeed watching.

(Hat tip: Bubba Thudd)

Yoani has not been silenced. Read her account of the seizure and beating.

Further update: More from Yoani, including this:

I am recovering from the physical injuries resulting from the abduction of last Friday. The bruises are lessening and what bothers me the most now is a sharp pain in the lumbar region which obliges me to use a crutch. Last night I went to the clinic and they treated me for the pain and inflammation. It is nothing that my youth and good health cannot overcome. Fortunately, the blow they gave me when they forced my head to the floor of the car has not affected my eye, only the cheekbone and the brow. I hope to have recovered in a few days.

Thank you to friends and family who have looked after and supported me, the effects are fading, even the psychological ones which are the hardest. Orlando and Claudia are still in shock, but they are incredibly strong and also will overcome it. We have already began to smile, the best medicine against abuse. The principal therapy for me remains this blog, and the thousands of topics still waiting to be touched on.