Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where the Wall Is Yet to Fall

The world celebrates tomorrow the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Meanwhile, in the prison-island of Cuba, communist state oppression yet rules.

Blogger Yoani Sánchez uses the Internet to denounce the lack of freedom, inequities and economic chaos that are the trademarks of the political and economic systems of her country. As expected, she has to deal with the consequences of confronting the powerful Castro family's political machine on a daily basis. Yesterday, she was kidnapped by Cuban political police agents while participating in a march for peace. In her own words:

Near 23rd Street, just at the Avenida de los Presidentes roundabout, we saw a black car, made in China, pull up with three heavily built strangers. “Yoani, get in the car,” one told me while grabbing me forcefully by the wrist. The other two surrounded Claudia Cadelo, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, and a friend who was accompanying us to the march against violence. The ironies of life, it was an evening filled with punches, shouts and obscenities on what should have
passed as a day of peace and harmony. The same “aggressors” called for a patrol car which took my other two companions, Orlando and I were condemned to the car with yellow plates, the terrifying world of lawlessness and the impunity of Armageddon. ...

I was listening to Orlando panting and the blows continued to rain down on us, I planned to open the door and throw myself out but there was no handle on the inside. We were at their mercy and hearing Orlando’s voice encouraged me. Later he told me it was the same for him hearing my choking words… they let him know, “Yoani is still alive.” We were left aching, lying in a street in Timba, a woman approached, “What has happened?”… “A kidnapping,” I managed to say. We cried in each others arms in the middle of the sidewalk, thinking about Teo, for God’s sake how am I going to explain all these bruises. How am I going to tell him that we live in a country where this can happen, how will I look at him and tell him that his mother, for writing a blog and putting her opinions in kilobytes, has been beaten up on a public street. How to describe the despotic faces of those who forced us into that car, their enjoyment that I could see as they beat us, their lifting my skirt as they dragged me half naked to the car.

I managed to see, however, the degree of fright of our assailants, the fear of the new, of what they cannot destroy because they don’t understand, the blustering terror of he who knows that his days are numbered.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee should be very, very ashamed for not having given the prize this year to someone that actually did something to deserve it, someone that needed the protection and the money that come with it. Someone like Yoani.

No comments: