November 23, 2009
Marketing war heats up among Cuban "dissidents"
Esteban N. Martínez for CubaDebate
The interview President Barack Obama granted the “blogger” Yoani Sánchez is the culmination of a project I feel like calling Operation Marketing; aimed as it is at the promotion and visibility of a new counter-revolutionary figure in Cuba, in the face of the worn out and battered “dissidence,” fighting like a pack of wolves with fangs bared in search of their prey…money.
The promotion of Yoani Sánchez began some time ago, when Grupo PRISA granted her the Ortega y Gasset prize and another publication put her on their list of the “World’s (100) Most Influential People,” although in her country she was completely unknown.
The torrent of prizes and recognition began to fall like “manna from heaven,” while press agencies, newspapers and websites, for the most part run by the rightwing, gave her the space to make her visible to the eyes of the world.
From the very beginning, Generación Y, the media platform designed for this digital project, counted on a broad architecture: German servers, replication in 18 languages and other technological means to set up the machinery, conceived outside Cuba and launched on the Internet under the duplicitous label of sourcing from Cuba.
Whoever has followed Yoani’s trajectory and those who sponsor her, know how the “blogger’s” positions have gone from a lukewarm criticism of the revolutionary Cuban project, to more openly aggressive ones, in search of a confrontation.
One of the first actions in this escalation had to do with the self-titled musician Gorki Águila, when the new “star” of citizen journalism launched a campaign in favor of the rocker, who’d starred in more than one scandal, but that story dissolved when the Cuban authorities only fined him. According to Yoani they tried to sentence him to a long prison term and now he’s wandering about elsewhere.
The Havana Book Fair was the other stage chosen by those who pay Yoani Sánchez to make her presence felt. At that event and to a miniscule audience, she was the star in another production staged on the outskirts of the main event dedicated to books and reading in Cuba.
Afterwards, there were other activities outside the Cuban capital. Yoani took her Ortega y Gasset prize to leave it at the shrine to the Virgin “Caridad del Cobre” in Santiago on the eastern end of the island, taking advantage of the trip to try to seek converts, manipulating and deceiving young people in order to try to get them to jump in her counter-revolutionary car, and then doing the same at the other end of the island, Pinar del Río, where she went with the same subversive intentions.
For “PRISA’s daughter” as she had now come to be known by certain media, she aligned herself increasingly with the enemies of the revolution, appearing frequently in articles and interviews with Radio Martí and Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, mouthpieces for the most retrograde positions and loudspeaker for the Cuban-American mafia located in Florida.
The story of skirmishes and other incidents is a long one, as she began to seek at all costs to make herself visible; counting on the complacency of the major media, charged by shadowy forces with making people believe that there is a transcendent political figure in Cuba who is opposed to the project which sustains the Cuban people.
With this voluminous record, Yoani Sánchez and her sponsors began the real Operation Marketing in recent weeks, beginning with a ridiculous episode: the “blogger” showed up disguised as a German tourist at a debate sponsored by Temas magazine, where to her surprise she was recognized, despite her wig, colorful clothing and garish handbag.
Coming off badly in the eyes of the “Montagues and Capulets,” Generación Y’s queen began to weave a new story, where she reported to the four winds that she’d been “kidnapped,” and beaten by state security agents.
Without cross-checking the facts and without verifying anything, plenty of media ran with the story about the “kidnapping” and “beating” of the famous “blogger.” Hundreds of articles circled the planet from one end to the other on that story, which Yoani herself could not back up, even with the BBC, when she could not present any proof of the blows she’d received.
But not everyone got on the boat of lies, and many have been questioning the script. One skeptic was the La República newspaper, who went to look for the doctors who attended Yoani and found that none of them found the least physical evidence for the supposed aggression.
Certainly, in a country where even lost dogs are called for on the radio by their owners, it sounded odd, like a media fabrication; something that even “classic dissidents” could appreciate once they saw their dollars endangered, heading now toward the “competition.” In a desperate attempt to call for attention, Martha Beatriz Roque and her acolytes put on their own “show,” complete with “hunger strike” and news of her “serious health problems,” but the climax was yet to come, and it came on Thursday with Obama’s answers to Yoani Sánchez’s questionnaire.
Doubting the legitimacy of the answers and wondering whether they were written by Obama or his advisers adds nothing to the debate. What’s interesting are the questions and the head of the empire’s answers to them.
Yoani Sánchez’s questions were aimed at subjects that would allow the person being asked the ability to drive forward his points of view, trying to blame the Cuban side for not moving forward on a path to better relations on both sides of the Florida Straits. Questions about essential subjects in the Cuba-United States dispute remained outside the journalistic realm of inquiry.
The economic and financial blockade by the world’s greatest power against the Cuban people was barely hinted at, left aside, without delving into the billions of dollars that this criminal policy has caused the Cuban economy and which constitutes the biggest drag on the island’s economy. Nor were the effects or strategies of a blockade designed to “kill through hunger or disease” and which has caused so much suffering for the Cuban family and is today repudiated by the entire planet, touched upon.
Nor were the consequences of the biological war against Cuba promoted by previous administrations among the questions – a war which through the introduction of plagues and illnesses damaged crops, animals and caused the death of Cubans, including more than a hundred children, when murderous hands introduced the dengue virus during the 1980’s.
The inconsistent position of the North American government in the struggle against terrorism was off the table, whereby a confessed killer like Luís Posada Carriles struts around the streets of Miami along with other terrorists and not a finger is lifted to extradite him to Venezuela, where he is wanted for blowing up a civilian Cuban airliner with 73 people on board, while five anti-terrorist fighters are enduring long sentences following a dirty, rigged trial in Miami, the capital of terrorism against Cuba.
The consequences of the Cuban Adjustment Act, a legal monstrosity classified as a “murderous law” for its role in promoting and stimulating illegal departures from Cuba, the cause of a slew of incidents and a long list of deaths in the waters of the Florida Straits, and which today fosters an unscrupulous business in human trafficking involving the Miami mafia along with criminals from other countries – also off the table.
The presidential response to the questioner about military intentions against Cuba is contradicted by factual reality; a Fourth Fleet armed to the teeth is sailing throughout the region, the permanency of the illegal Guantánamo Naval Base on a portion of Cuban soil and the construction of seven North American military bases in Colombia tell a different tale and constitute a threat not only to Cuba but to the entire continent.
Beyond questions and answers, the intention of Yoani Sánchez and those who promote her is to gain greater global visibility in a Marketing Operation, a game which Barack Obama has joined, whether consciously or encouraged by his advisers, and one which leads to a well worn path where he will find that the firmness of the Cuban people is an insurmountable hurdle.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.