What Yoani Sanchez Said About the Five Spies

Yoani speaking to the Brazilian senate

Yoani speaking to the Brazilian senate

sunsetTranslated from: Joan Antoni Guerrero Vall’s blog PdVista

Yesterday the blogger Yoani Sanchez referred, again, to the question of the five Cuban spies tried in the United States. She did so at a press conference after this blog reported her declarations in Brasilia and generated an avalanche of comments through social networks and various media.

Sanchez, questioned by journalists, clarified her declaration: “Let me clarify, [the 5] were tried, fairly tried, and they were undoubtedly spies.” The blogger insisted that what had happened had been a “great misunderstanding” and said that “sometimes I use sarcasm and the irony leads to that kind of misunderstanding.”

“First,” she said, “I did not say ‘5 heroes’ because for me they are spies who have been tried, who have had repeated legal opportunities to prove their guilt or innocence and in all those courts, made up of diverse and plural people, they have been confirmed as guilty.”

Later the blogger said that “everyone knows” that it is “common practice” for the Cuban government to “monitor and spy across American soil, and therefore at no time did I ask for their release.” And again she stressed her surprise for the misunderstanding. “I know this was misunderstood, I don’t know why, but fine, I also believe that the case of the 5 is being blown out-of-proportion to avoid people looking at the real Cuban problem, which is the lack of freedom, the excess of repression, because we live under a totalitarian government that does not allow free elections, does not allow its citizens to associate and express themselves freely.” For Yoani, “any other topic about the five spies or five members of the Interior Ministry (as they’re called ironically) becomes simply a false creation of public opinion.”

She added, finally, that issues such as the 5 “are issues that we Cubans must learn to discuss without hatred because one of the important exercises that will bring us democracy is to learn that anyone can have a different opinion.” So, she said, “the virulence of the reactions always surprises me, I’m surprised because these are issues we’re going to have to discuss over coffee and we have to approach them from positions of offering each other respect and tolerance.”

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Yoani Sanchez in Brazil

20 February 2013