Gift or Punishment?

Sunday, May 9, Yoani Sánchez, author of the Blog Generation Y, communicated to some friends via Twitter the following information.

“I have received a huge gift for the Mother’s Day celebration, a police citation to appear in the Fourth Station tomorrow.”

Yoani Sanchez is the most celebrated blogger in Cuba, but she has not been distinguished by the official media of the Island, in spite of the international awards she has received and her contribution to the new technologies. Her blog, a divine virtual tribune, unleashed hatred and persecution against her person.

Since she received the “Ortega y Gasset” journalism prize, State Security Agents watch her home. On November 7, 2009, she was kidnapped and beaten in a Vedado street by three police officers. The deed was repeated at the end of February, when she was on her way to sign a book of condolence for the death of the political prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

To silence the criticisms from the young writer, the government combines political persecution with an Internet campaign against her. They try to disqualify her through siege, rumors, and slander in the official press. In the academic and cultural government institutions, with Internet access, they hold meetings against her, while the main communication media of the regime reproduce a romanced biography that distorts her contribution to citizen’s journalism

The citation of last Sunday arrived at her home while she celebrated with her parents, son and husband the Mother’s Day holiday, one of the most sacred days of the Cuban culture. On two previous occasions, she has been cited with the intent to intimidate her. The Immigration authorities have denied, four times, her travel permission requests to attend academic events and to pick up her international awards.

Yoani Sanchez earned her celebrity status because of the excellence and concision in the post she writes on Generation Y, which is read and commented on by millions. Her fame also comes from her initiative to grow the island’s blogosphere, known as the Blogger Journey, for creation of the platform Cuban Voices, plus the creation of the First Blogger Academy in Cuba, and for the proposal in favor of dialogue and the tolerance as a way to solve the problems of the country.

The recent police citation against the signature Blogger of our island is another attempt to extinguish the voices of those who assume freedom to speak and write without censorship and without political mandates. It was truly another attempt at punishment because the police later made up an excuse to postpone the citation. In the end, it is a threat of a possible punishment.

Translated by: Mari Mesa Contreras

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