Crackdown in Cuba – Top Bloggers Arrested & Severely Beaten

Jim Hoft
Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Cuban bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Orlando Luis Pardo, Ciro Díaz and Claudia Cadelo were arrested today and severely beaten by the Castro regime. Babalu has the latest.

In the “Comments” section of GatewayPundit, Mike W. writes:

I have been reading Yoani`s blog for several years and was wondering how much rope Castro was going to give her and her fellow bloggers. A couple of days ago she posted how she disguised herself to get into a bloggers conference and voiced her opinions under the watchful eyes of Castros thugs. She is one brave lady. If obamaoa had half her cajones [sic] he still would be a man-child.

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Most of Babalu’s blog is in Spanish because she writes for the Cuban community. But this is in English:

BREAKING NEWS: Yoani Sanchez Arrested in Cuba
By Val Prieto, on November 6, 2009, at 6:42 pm
Penultimos Dias has word that Yoani Sanchez and other Cuban bloggers have been arrested in Havana.

Yoani Sánchez, Orlando Luis Pardo, Ciro Díaz and Claudia Cadelo among those arrested. Cadelo is reported to have already been released. Details on whereabouts of other dissident bloggers are still sketchy.

UPDATE 6:46 EST: Im told all were picked up, harassed, manhandled and released at some distance away from where the march was to take place. Will keep updating as the news trickles in.

UPDATE 7:15: Penultimos Dias reports the Yoani and Orlando were verbally abused and severely beaten. Yoani was told that “this is as far as she would go.”

Ernesto, I have just spoken to Yoani. She is now back home. She has bruising around one eye. She has been verbally and physically assaulted. Orlando was too. “This is as far as you’re getting!” was repeatedly shouted at them inside a patrol car. She was placed head over heels and subjected to karate blows. She is very nervous. I am too.

UPDATE 2:04: Here’s video of the march the castro monarchical dictatorship just couldn’t allow Cuban bloggers to participate in:

UPDATE: Yeah! Let’s lift the embargo, dialogue with fidel and raul and co., and allow Americans to travel freely to Cuba so they can witness Yoani and her colleagues be treated like chattel!!

Update 8:15 AM Saturday: From Orlando Luis Pardo, posted at Penultimos Dias:

Update 8:38 AM: Ninety-five pound Yoani Sanchez takes a beating for 12 million Cubans

From Claudia Cadelo [in her account of their ordeal]:

Friday at the Blogger Academy, we ended the day with a class on Cuban culture with Miriam. Relaxed atmosphere: the Tainos and their myths. Before leaving Ivan told me, “See you at five-thirty.” We had found out from friends we knew that Aldo, Luis Eligio, Amaury and other young people were going to walk today from 23rd and G Street to L Street, with signs against violence. A civic march in a country where citizenship has been kidnapped by the totalitarianism, where power has grown old and the ultimate death rattles of a collapsing system are a blind response, pure temper tantrum.

We stayed, Orlando Luis (Pardo Lazo), his girlfriend, Yoani and I, cleaning up until it was time for the march. We left the house nervous, but confident that we wouldn’t be alone. By G Street Orlando was making jokes that I don’t remember but I was falling out laughing. A man was masturbating in broad daylight in Zapata, Havana looked the same as always.

The bus stop for the P11 was full, at 27th and G, the only corner from where you can catch something to take you to Alamar. The car appeared from nowhere, yellow plates, a new Chinese model: money for repression. “Let’s go in comfort,” Yoani said to me jokingly, and the guys got out with faces that were not pleasant, it must be sad to be a thug. We refused to get in the car, there were three of them and they threatened us:

“Get in the car, now.”
“Let us see your documents, or wear a uniform.”

Orlando had his cell phone in his hand. “Pardo, don’t record,” said the said the one in the orange shirt, and I got my cell out. Nobody noticed me, I sent the first Tweet…

In less than three minutes a patrol car came up with a couple of cops—a woman and a man—completely dumbstruck by the scene. The carried out their orders almost in slow motion, the woman told me:

“Don’t resist.”
“They are undocumented,” it occurred to me to enlighten her.

Yoani was clinging to a bush, I was clinging to her waist, and the woman was pulling me by the leg. They had already dragged Orlando off, outside my field of vision. A man stopped, looking on with an expression of terror, people didn’t say a single word. The officer, very young, got me in an armlock that immobilized me, I could have kicked a little but I was too astonished at seeing Yoani’s legs sticking out of the rear window of the State Security car.

They shoved me into the patrol car while I was screaming, “Yoani! Yoani!” But I realized that no one could hear me, everything was hermetically sealed, Orlando’s girlfriend was struggling with the police, Yoani’s body was being pushed headfirst into the car, and Orlando’s telephone flew out through the window… I sent the second Tweet hoping someone would be able to understand it with my terrible typing. The girl cop got in the patrol car and said to me,

“Why did you resist? We don’t want to hit you.”
“You almost ripped my shirt,” said the other PNR (National Revolutionary Police), meanwhile putting Orlando’s girlfriend in the car.

They looked embarrassed, for a moment I thought they were going to apologize:

“Do you have your identity cards handy,” she said, almost sweetly, and passed us Orlando’s phone which wouldn’t stop ringing.

Unfortunately, the one in the orange shirt got in and shut the door… I fell over. The police fell silent and started the dialog.

“Claudia, turn off the telephone.”
“Forget it.”
“How disgusting,” said Orlando’s girlfriend.
The rest pure insult, a surrealistic rage.

“Your name is not going to go down in history,” he said.
“I don’t care, you don’t even have a name.”
“Then it will be worse.”
“Your threats are your fear. That’s their purpose.”

Stepping foot on the corner by Yoani’s house made me dizzy, there was no light in the building, I couldn’t get anyone’s cell, and I was losing my balance. Then the first call came with a 00 international prefix and I knew nothing had been in vain, even if we had all been arrested and the march suspended. When, later, I saw the video that Ciro brought me I knew for certain: They lost, it’s the countdown.

From the comments section of Babalu:

November 6th, 2009 at 7:50 PM
Um, my Spanish is far from brilliant, but here’s a shot:
Ernesto, I have just spoken with Yoani, she is already in her house. She took a blow to the eye. They have beaten her physically and verbally. Orlando as well. They were shouting at the patrol from inside until they had arrived, they placed her head down and her feet up and they applied karate blows. She was very nervous, so was I.

November 6th, 2009 at 7:55 PM
Man,Do they fear this women or what, what if she’s the one?
The one that makes a change happen?
Too bad the current administration is trying to appease the regime.
Its coming and when it really starts nothing will stop it!
This is what they fear.

Robert Molleda
November 6th, 2009 at 10:34 PM
A telling comment by Yoani to El Nuevo Herald which was posted at Penultimos Dias:
“No blood was shed. We have bruises, blows, hair yanked out, punches to the head, kidneys, knees and chest. In the end, professional violence (violencia profesional)”. I have never heard the term violencia profesional used before. It’s a unfortunately perfect description of the actions of the regime.

Accounts in Spanish and other comments can be read at the blog Babalu.

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CAJ notes: We have not seen this news reported in American media, other than this coverage by Jim Hoft.

As you probably know the useful idiot, Michael Moore, has sung the praises of the Castro regime for years, convincing American liberals that life for Cuba’s citizens is pretty superior to anything here in America.

In April 2009 members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Fidel and Raul Castro and returned “smitten” with the dictators, in the words of Humberto Fontova in his article in the American Thinker:

…Not since Ann Margaret’s reaction to Conrad Birdie’s kiss has anything been recorded to match these U.S. legislators’ reaction to these meetings.

“He looked directly into my eyes!” gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) “and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed.” (no doubt!)

“It was quite a moment to behold!” hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA) “Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic.”

“He’s one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met!” gushed Emanuel Cleaver(D-MO)

“Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man,” according to Bobby Rush (D-IL) “someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend,” (a Freudian slip, perhaps? Bobby Rush, after all, was a card-carrying Black Panther who did prison time)

Lest we forget: these Black U.S. legislators were raving about a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler executed (out of a population of 70 million) in the Reich’s first six…

President Obama wants to ‘normalize’ U.S. relations with Cuba. Some members of Congress believe the travel bans to the island nation should be removed.

On the recent matter of whether or not former President Zelay can and should be allowed to subvert the Honduran constitution and the country’s Supreme Court, President Obama sided with the Castros, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and other Latin American dictators, and brought the power of the United States government to bear upon the interim government.

Does anyone else sense a disturbing pattern unfolding in American politics today?

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