Photo: Dissident Blogger Yoani Sánchez Arrested in Cuba
Well-known blogger Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez, 37, was arrested Thursday as she and her husband were on their way to a trial.
A pro-government blogger later stated Sanchez and her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, also a writer, were stopped on their way to the courtroom because they planned a “provocation” and “media show” that could possibly interfere with the credibility of the trial.
The trial Sanchez and her husband were traveling for was that of a Spaniard Angel Carromero, the man allegedly responsibly for the July death of Sanchez’s friend and fellow oppositionist, Oswaldo Paya.
Paya and another dissident, Harold Cepero were passengers in a car being driven by Carromero when the vehicle went off the road and hit a tree. As a result, Cepero and Paya were killed.
The communist island’s government has accused Sanchez of manipulating the truth. Friends of Paya have stated they believe the vehicle was forced off the road, that the incident was not an accident.
Despite Cuba’s censorship, Sanchez’s blog, Generación Y, is made possible because she e-mails her entries to friends outside the country for them to publish online. Generación Y, is translated into 17 languages.
Four years ago, Time magazine named Sanchez one of the world’s most influential people.
In 2009, President Barack Obama said Sanchez’s blog “provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba,” adding that she helps “empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology.”
Despite her criticism of the current Cuban government, Sanchez has stated she strives to maintain a “respectful tone” and has asked her supporters anf those who comment on her entries to do so as well.
An interview published in Poder360:
refuse to use incendiary language, defamation, or harangues, because that only exacerbates the cycle of intolerance that is an obstacle to reasoned debate. Cuba is a very diverse country. You walk out into the street, and you not only find diversity of races but also of opinions. The official press spends all its time trying to make us believe that this is a very monolithic country, that we all think the same, and it does so with a dose of revolutionary violence and ideological aggressiveness that is paralyzing. We have to find a way to put a stop to this never-ending cycle, to this spiral of aggression that is very characteristic of Cuban journalism
Since she was reportedly arrested on Thursday, Sanchez has not updated her Twitter account and according to the BBC, their Havana correspondent has said Sanchez’s cell phone was “unreachable and appeared to have been cut-off.”