Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Gorilla Within:  Castroite Blogger Yohandry


I have always been a proponent of the use of the internet as a forum for free and open discussion, which I naturally believe will benefit the causes of freedom and democracy I support in this blog project.  But I also am aware that free access to the world through internet blogging brings perils along with it, and I am going to introduce one of the most dangerous bloggers I have encountered thus far in this post.  I refer to the Cuban blogger who uses the internet pseudonym "Yohandry," whose blog at the forum of the Spanish newspaper El Pais has evidently just been removed by the decision of web site's managers following a dangerously threatening post directed at renowned Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, whose story I have been following in this blog for some time.

I must be honest and state that, even though Yohandry is introduced elsewhere as Yohandry Fontana Guethón; I doubt this is his or her real name given that it begins with the letter "Y," which Yoani Sanchez stated was a mark of unique distinction in Cuba.  The name "Yohandry" is feminine, but the writing style is uniquely masculine and I would like to point out that posters who have responded as commentators to Yohandry's "closure" notice at the La Comunidad forum have addressed him/her as a member of either gender.  The Blog de Yohandry hosted at the El Pais website was up for at least several months; a fact I gather from other blogs that go back to last February which either reference posts from the blog, comment upon them, or even give Yohandry an opportunity to post short messages.  I cannot say more given that it is now closed.

Beyond a general tendency to proselytize the Castro party line on a number of issues, Yohandry has made a reputation for attacking at least two bloggers I am able to identify at this time; the already-mentioned Yoani Sanchez and an additional Cuban blog known as Potro Salvaje, a name that translates to "Wild Colt" (Note: the Latino music group of the same name is evidently of no relation).  Yohandry accused Potro Salvaje of being responsible for the cyber-attacks that denied Cubans on the island access to Yoani Sanchez's blog last March.  I have read a little of the Potro blog and I must say that I regard this charge as near insanity.  Potro is thoroughly dedicated to the diffusion of information regarding freedom of the press, internet freedom, and access to cyber-technology in Cuba, as well as to the provision of assistance in the way of technical advice, tips, and tricks to fellow Cubans who wish to avoid detection and discovery of their efforts to use the internet free from the retaliation of the Castro regime.  But Yohandry would have us believe that Potro was out to shut Yoani Sanchez down.  You may guess my profane response to this accusation at your own expense.

Earlier this week Yohandry published an entry at the La Comunidad forum which leveled dangerously serious allegations against Yoani Sanchez, or perhaps I should state "dangerously serious allegations understood by anyone who knows the nature of political repression in Cuba."  Since El Pais has closed the site down, I have searched for a copy of the text from elsewhere without success.  It is no longer available in the Google cache and I am only able to read second-hand didactions of its content.  On Tuesday Laz at Cuba Independiente published an entry containing details of a new crackdown on dissidents underway in Cuba that cited Yohandry's blog as evidence that the regime's repressive actions may foreshadow a move against Yoani Sanchez.  I would like to post a translated quote from that blog containing the report of Yohandry's accusations:

". . . This is a clear signal of where the next steps to Tyranny are heading.  In the same vein, the award-winning Yoani Sanchez, owner of the Blog Generacion Y, was accused by a shady and almost unknown blogger using the pseudonym "Yohandry" of working for the CIA and corresponding with the writer in exile Carlos Alberto Montaner, who also is accused of being an agent of the same agency. . . ."

Anyone who is familiar with the nature of the Castro regime in Cuba understands the seriousness of these allegations.  They can result in jail terms lasting decades.

Soon after the Cuba Independiente post, other blog sites who track the progress of human rights in Cuba picked up on the story.  Martha Colmenares opened her own discussion thread and began circulating the information among bloggers and human rights groups.  Spanish Pundit picked it up and, I believe, may have the exact translation of Yohandry's accusation, which is as follows:

". . . That is not a debate blog, that is a blog where all the scum against Cuba meets.  Yoani is lucky, she has all those people there united and not walking aroung the net.  I accuse Yoani of being linked to elements of CIA, specifically to Montaner, the true owner of that blog, I accuse her of being linked with terrorist elements who live in Europe, Montaner and I accuse of fulfilling the editorial policy imposed by Montaner, the true owner. . . ."

Again; the dangerous nature of accusations such as these for a Cuban blogger like Yoani Sanchez must be regarded as severe.  We are discussing the life and freedom of a human being when we examine this in the real world.  In the context of international political blogging and the Latin American Left, the risks are more than serious; they are life-altering.

So where does this leave us when we deal with the question of how we enter into direct discussion with supporters of the Castro regime in Cuba?  I am very sorry to say that the answer is nowhere.  Yohandry has shown only the most recent evidence of a basic psychological truth that anyone who has followed the brutal history of the repression of human freedom that will always remain as the Castro regime's legacy should understand ...

Within the heart of every Castrista lurks that inner gorilla that is always ready to brutalize and destroy anyone who dares to speak freely of the failures of the regime.

And the Spanish newspaper El Pais should put aside its support of the Spanish Socialist Party for just a few minutes -- just this once -- and apologize to the world for having provided the means of the intimidation of one of the most important spokespersons for human freedom on the third planet of this solar system -- Yoani Sanchez.



Martha Colmenares said...

Muy buena entrada, la enlazaré. Muy importante dar a conocerlo.
Saludos, Martha

Nora said...

Oh, Diossss, me dio Martha la dirección de tu blog hace unas semanas y se me olvidó totalmente ponerte un enlace en el mío.
Ahora mismo te lo pongo porque hay pocos que se dediquen a escribir en inglés, entendiendo el español o siendo de habla hispana/española.

Laz said...

Muchas gracias por su solidaridad. Tiene un blog extraordinario que desde ya incluyo en mi blogroll. Honrado con que me incluya en el suyo.

Laz said...

Dear Augusto,
You have an special award here


Laz said...

Mi homenaje particular

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