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Friday, 1 March 2013

Just who is Yoani Sanchez? - Radio Prague and Pravda go head to head

As Yoani Sanchez arrives in the Czech Republic, the main opponent of Cuba's government in the EU, on the first leg of her European tour, it is interesting to counterpose two articles about her that are currently available. The first to read is this one from Radio Prague entitled:

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez urges Czechs to keep up pressure on Cubangovernment

Reading this you get the flavour of the fauning way in which she praises a country that rejected Communism and became the United States' favourite within the former eastern bloc European countries. In this article she is quoted as saying: "The reality is that repression continues on the island, and that human-rights and opposition activists continue to be violently oppressed."

She adds: "The position of the Czech government towards the opposition – one of solidarity, collaboration and support, is very important at this moment. It seems that for many, Cuban affairs are beginning to lose importance because many people believe that Cuba is changing. Maintaining the pressure is crucial.”

The scariest thing for her might of course be that her 'cause' would lose importance, because it is the way she makes a very comfortable living. According to this article from Radio Pravda, she earns the equivalent of 1,488 years of an average Cuban salary every year from her 'foreign' mentors:

Yoani Sánchez - Blogger, mercenary or traitor?

It is noticeable that Yoani has not chosen to include Russia on her travels. There, they seem to take a different view from their erstwhile 'satellite.' In this article, Yoani is seen as at best an opportunist and at worst a cynical traitor. I quote it at length:

"... if Cuba is so oppressive, why did the authorities allow her to pass unhindered from José Marti airport, Havana, on her world tournée, knowing full well what she intended to do?

"And let's be honest here. In the USA, she would have been imprisoned for doing the same thing, for 20 years (instigating the overthrow of the Government or established order), or 10 years (proffering declarations affecting the relationship of the country with others) or 3 years (maintaining correspondence with foreigners with the intention to influence regarding a conflict or controversy with the USA). In Italy her activities would have seen her incarcerated for between 3 and 10 years, in Spain, between 4 and 15.

"So how can this Yoani Sánchez, who claims the Cubans are repressed but manages to go globe-trotting with income higher than any average mortal, who claims that the Cuban people don't have access to the Internet but manages to make hundreds of thousands of dollars by slagging off her country, be taken seriously?"

Who and what is Yoani Sanchez? I leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide. Just ask yourself: Whom does she benefit? 

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