Tuesday, November 10, 2009

State Department Reacts To Attack On Yoani Sánchez
Still No Word From NJ Senator Menendez

The United States State Department has now officially reacted to, and condemned the detention and physical attack on the Cuban "Generation Y" blogger, Yoani Sánchez, and a few of her friends, including Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.

Below is the press statement of condemnation, found on the Department's website (ht, MEDIAite, here.)

A chronological listing of all State Department Press statements can be found here:

Assault on Cuban Bloggers

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Washington, DC

November 9, 2009


The U.S. government strongly deplores the assault on bloggers Yoani Sanchez, Orlando Luis Pardo, and Claudia Cadelo. On November 6, these three activists were forcibly detained by plain clothes security personnel and beaten while en route to a peaceful demonstration in Havana.

The President has proclaimed November 9 World Freedom Day. It is precisely this sort of repression and violence against the voices of freedom and reconciliation that World Freedom Day is meant to expose. We call on the Government of Cuba to ensure the full respect of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens.

We have expressed to the Cuban government our deep concern with the assaults, and we are following up with inquiries to Yoani Sanchez, Orlando Luis Pardo, and Claudia Cadelo regarding their personal well-being and access to medical care.

PRN: 2009/1120
As also reported at MEDIAite, there were no reports of the attack anywhere in the Cuban official press.

According to her specific account of the detention and beating, there were actually four people in her group when they were first detained: Yoani, Claudia Cadelo, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, and an unnamed friend, who were all on their way to the march against violence. Yoani and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo were put in one car together, where they were both severely beaten. The other two were taken away in a patrol car before she and Orlando were forced into the other car.

At the end of the graphic post she described her feelings, and those of Orlando upon being dumped back onto the street some time later.
. . . 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.
Still no press word as of this writing (2:59 pm 11/10/09) from New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, however.

Here's a thought . . . how about just a "tweet," Senator?


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