cross posted from The Dream Antilles
La Bloguera Yoani Sanchez
Well, to no one’s surprise, Cuba wouldn’t relent and permit Yoani Sanchez to travel to Spain to receive the Ortega y Gasset prize, despite my post yesterday urging Raul Castro to permit her to go.
A Cuban woman who gained worldwide acclaim for a blog that offers stinging criticism of the Communist regime was honored Wednesday with a Spanish journalism award – in absentia.
Cuban authorities did not approve Yoani Sanchez’s request to travel to Madrid for the award ceremony. But the 32-year-old woman was still able to make some points.
“Nothing of what I have written in these 13 months speaks as loudly as my absence from this ceremony,” Sanchez said in a tape recording.
She said the fact she had to address the group through a recording was “the clearest evidence of the defenselessness of the Cuban people with respect to the state.”
Meanwhile, her blog receives more than 1 million hits a month (my blog receives less than 1 thousand). And it continues to voice opposition to repression in Cuba. It’s gotten some attention from Andrew Sullivan, but in general, there hasn’t been much of an uproar, or support in Blogtopia for her right to travel or for her right to express herself without being penalized or calling for her to be allowed to leave Cuba long enough to visit Spain.
Why is that? What exactly does it take to have bloggers advocate for freedom of expression across the entire Internet? When are we going to understand the connections between all of us in the typing class? When are we going to support freedom of speech, even if we don’t agree with the politics or content of what is being written?
I’m asking because I remember Martin Niemoeller.