Yes of course Yoanni Sanchez should be jailed!

It\’s clear and obvious, isn\’t it?

Cuba detained activist and blogger Yoani Sanchez in the eastern city of Bayamo, where she was attending the trial of a man charged in the driving death of another dissident, the pro-government Cuban blog Yohandry said.

Sanchez, who writes the “Generation Y” blog that discusses shortcomings of the Caribbean island’s communist government and her failed attempts to travel abroad, was provoking a “media show” over the trial, Yohandry said.

Quite right too. The People\’s Justice must always be done in secret. How, otherwise, can anyone have faith that the correct decision has been reached?

Sanchez was covering the trial of Spaniard Angel Carromero as a freelance reporter for El Pais, the Madrid-based newspaper said on its website today.

No doubt the lickspittles at The Guardian are already massing to denounce this righteous display of revolutionary fortitude: that only the Cuban Communist Party can determine what is right for Cuba!

24 thoughts on “Yes of course Yoanni Sanchez should be jailed!”

  1. I think what you’re missing, Tim, is that many people in the US don’t have access to healthcare. Criticising Cuba for lacking such gee-gaws as a democratically accountable government or a free press merely shows your neo-liberal bias.

  2. The Guardian’s line on Cuba is the mainstream centre-left line on Cuba, which acknowledges that the government is as repressive towards dissidents as the governments of, say, the contemporary UAE or pre-1988 South Korea, and that this is a terrible thing – but that the US embargo is grossly disproportionate and that the country’s achievements in education and healthcare are still worth some attention.

    I’m aware the occasional Stalin-wanking fanatic views it as a perfect paradise; they can obviously go and get stuffed.

  3. The Guardian’s line on Cuba is the mainstream centre-left line on Cuba, which acknowledges that the government is as repressive towards dissidents as the governments of, say, the contemporary UAE…

    UAE dissidents can leave. Big difference, that.

  4. UAE dissidents can leave. Big difference, that.

    They’re free to but it might be rather difficult for a construction worker who shares a room with six other guys and whose wages are forever being withheld to up sticks and fly elsewhere.

    Not that I’m trying to start a game of “who’s more bad than who”. They’re all bad.

  5. They’re free to but it might be rather difficult for a construction worker who shares a room with six other guys and whose wages are forever being withheld to up sticks and fly elsewhere.

    You think those are UAE residents rather than “guest workers”? Who are likely to be sent home at the first sign of dissent.

  6. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    “US embargo is grossly disproportionate”

    I am unable to comprehend the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe that Cuban socialism requires for its success trade with the United States.

  7. “the country’s achievements in education and healthcare are still worth some attention.”

    Yes, they are worth some attention, more than is given by the Guardian. But if their journalists actually read Yoanni’s blog, they might realise that those achievements are not quite as usually presented by that paper or the Left in general.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    john b – “The Guardian’s line on Cuba is the mainstream centre-left line on Cuba, …. but that the US embargo is grossly disproportionate and that the country’s achievements in education and healthcare are still worth some attention.”

    But that is obviously not true. First of all, Cuba massively violated human rights on a scale that neither the South Koreans, the UAE or even Pinochet’s Chile could hope to emulate. The (probably too high) estimate is that they have executed 100,000 people. Unlike the 3,000 in Chile who were executed or tortured.

    But most of all, if health care or education mattered one little bit, the Guardian would be running regular columns on Costa Rica. Which has as good or even better health and education outcomes as Cuba. Without having to murder anyone. Yet I can’t recall Comment is Free ever running a single article in praise of Costa Rica. Not one.

    “I’m aware the occasional Stalin-wanking fanatic views it as a perfect paradise; they can obviously go and get stuffed.”

    But what is the difference between Costa Rica and Cuba except that Stalin-wanking? Face it, for the Left, Stalin has the same fascination that the SS does for a certain type of teenage boy. They sit and admire the uniforms and the order and the discipline – and get their rocks off to the thought of the death camps. Cuba is attractive in a way Ciosta Rica is not. The mainstream left likes genocide just as much as David Iriving. They are just less honest about it.

  9. Charlie Suet // Oct 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm
    “I think what you’re missing, Tim, is that many people in the US don’t have access to healthcare”

    I think what you’re missing, Charlie, is that everyone in the US has *access* to healthcare – they may not have insurance or may not be able to afford the care they need (which, contrary to the current administration’s pleading, are two seperate things) but we all have access. its all part of that whole “natural rights” and “pursuit of happiness” nonsense.

    Sure, everyone in Cuba has free healthcare. ‘Course the Cuban healthcare system that actually provides that healthcare is horrifyingly abyssal but that doesn’t matter as long as everyone has the same crappy option available to them right? Well, except the party higher ups who are afforded the luxury of private doctors or the freedom to jet off to another country for real medical care.

  10. I’m not a supporter of totalitarian government in Cuba or anywhere else. But we might as well deal with facts, which are:

    – according to the CIA factbook, Cuba ranks above the USA in life expectancy (the difference is tiny). The USA ranks above Costa Rica (the difference is small). So apparently healthcare in Cuba is not “horrifyingly abysmal”

    – “The (probably too high) estimate is that they have executed 100,000 people”. I suppose someone may have made that up somewhere, but it’s many times higher than the usual estimates from observers not sympathetic to Castro.

    SMFS’s fantasies about the views of the mainstream left would better be kept to himself.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “I’m not a supporter of totalitarian government in Cuba or anywhere else. But we might as well deal with facts, which are:”

    Facts? Interesting.

    “- according to the CIA factbook, Cuba ranks above the USA in life expectancy (the difference is tiny). The USA ranks above Costa Rica (the difference is small). So apparently healthcare in Cuba is not “horrifyingly abysmal””

    The CIA Factbook gets those figures from the WHO. Which gets them from the governments concerned. Because the governments are often concerned, the WHO is actually forbidden from doing any checking or even much in the way of commenting on those figures. So it is not a fact that Cuba’s life expectancy is better than America’s. It is the claim of the Cuban government. Who would not lie, of course.

    You also have the problem of comparing like with like. Most of Europe, and I assume the Cubans too, do not record babies who die shortly after birth as deaths. They are still births. Up to several weeks later for Germany.

    So the Cubans have an obvious motive and plenty of means. But of course most people who wouldn’t dream of supporting totalitarianism believe every word the Cuban government says.

    And, by the way, I have just checked what Wikipedia says about the CIA Factbook’s claims, and they claim that the CIA claims Costa Rica just nudges out Cuba – 77.41 years at birth to 78.8. But I will agree the difference is so small it amounts to nothing.

    “- “The (probably too high) estimate is that they have executed 100,000 people”. I suppose someone may have made that up somewhere, but it’s many times higher than the usual estimates from observers not sympathetic to Castro.”

    Well yes and no. People are going to produce a range. I think it is too high. Maybe three times too high. But whatever the figure it, it is gross for such a small country.

    “SMFS’s fantasies about the views of the mainstream left would better be kept to himself.”

    I did not bring up the phrase mainstream left. Someone else did. But assuming the Guardian does not represent the Far Left, and is in fact pretty much representative of the mainstream British left, then yes, they love Cuba. Because they write about it all the time. They do not love Costa Rica. Because they never write about it and to the best of my knowledge have not once supported its social model. Castro? Yes. Pacifist Democracy? No. So whatever is causing their love-in with the Castros it is not the health care or the education. Otherwise they would love Costa Rica too.

    Presumably it is the one issue they disagree on – mass murder and torture. That is what makes Cuba so exciting for them. Unless you can think of another reason? Ever spent a holiday in Costa Rica?

  12. SMFS: quoting a figure you yourself think is three times too high is lying.

    Apologies for my mistake with life expectancy in Costa Rica. I’ve now checked the current CIA factbook, which has the USA slightly better than Costa Rica and Cuba (but the numbers remain close).

    You said “The mainstream left likes genocide…”. Which just makes it obvious you’re a troll.

  13. “the US embargo is grossly disproportionate” – john b

    Is this the same john b who stated the following on the tax havens comment thread:

    “Any attempt by the CIs and IOM to secede would be readily crushable.

    Ultimatum is simple: “either stay as you are but impose these tax laws OR join the UK OR we’ll impose sanctions backed by credible military threat”.”?

  14. Paulb>

    “You said “The mainstream left likes genocide…”. Which just makes it obvious you’re a troll.”

    Not that you were talking to me, but…

    I think it’s very reasonable to conclude from their actions that mainstream left-wingery includes a devotion to genocide. It’s incorrect, but the alternative (and, I think, the truth) is utterly mind-boggling – that they really are so consistently intellectually deficient as to fail to realise the effects the policies they call for would have.

  15. SMFS: “You also have the problem of comparing like with like. Most of Europe, and I assume the Cubans too, do not record babies who die shortly after birth as deaths. They are still births. Up to several weeks later for Germany.”

    Is there some right-wing fantasy site you copy this stuff from, or do you make it up for yourself? For the record, stillbirth rates in Germany are lower than in the USA, so Germany is certainly not hiding neonatal mortality in its stillbirth figures.

    Dave: if you’re going to claim mind-boggling “truth”, the non-trolling approach would be to adduce some sort of factual argument for it.

  16. “Dave: if you’re going to claim mind-boggling “truth”, the non-trolling approach would be to adduce some sort of factual argument for it.”

    The adulation of Eric Hobsbawm, indeed the existence of Eric Hobsbawm.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “SMFS: quoting a figure you yourself think is three times too high is lying.”

    No it isn’t. I flagged my opinion of it very clearly. I said it was probably too high. I don’t know how accurate it is, but I made sure every single person knew I had my doubts. Exactly as I should have.

    “Apologies for my mistake with life expectancy in Costa Rica. I’ve now checked the current CIA factbook, which has the USA slightly better than Costa Rica and Cuba (but the numbers remain close).”

    And do you also concede that the Guardian has never once run an article praising Costa Rica? Actually I am not sure that is true either, but to the best of my knowledge they have never done so. Can we agree that articles defending Cuba out number articles praising Costa Rica by several orders of magnitude?

    You have any explanation for this except mine?

    “You said “The mainstream left likes genocide…”. Which just makes it obvious you’re a troll.”

    And yet the fact remains – as long as you kill and murder people in reasonable numbers, the Left will defend you. They do not like cottage industry level killings like Pinochet, but they did devote a lot of time and energy to making sure that industrial scale killers like Ho Chi-minh and Pol Pot came to power. The Left, as I said, is not honest about this, but it is still both obvious and true.

    You can call it trolling if you like, but it will still remain true. It is the love that dare not speak its name, but it is love nonetheless.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “Is there some right-wing fantasy site you copy this stuff from, or do you make it up for yourself? For the record, stillbirth rates in Germany are lower than in the USA, so Germany is certainly not hiding neonatal mortality in its stillbirth figures.”

    Make it up myself. I did not claim that Germany is hiding anything. That is dishonest of you. What the still birth rates in Germany actually are is irrelevant. The fact is they do not count them the same way America does. There is no reason to think Cuba does either. And there is every reason to think the Cubans are lying. It is naive beyond the point of stupidity to take the Cuban government’s figures at face value. And so I assume you are only blowing smoke in an effort to distract yourself from the nature of your original claim.

    “if you’re going to claim mind-boggling “truth”, the non-trolling approach would be to adduce some sort of factual argument for it.”

    Which I did. We have the fact that they love Cuba, but do not love Costa Rica. Even though Costa Rica has produces as good, if not better, outcomes as Cuba. Without killing large numbers of people. This is a fact. There must be a reason why they love Cuba and not Costa Rica. This is also a fact. It cannot be for what they have in common, so it must be for what they do not. Which are too reasonable assumptions. Cuba murders people in large numbers. That is a fact. The only logical and coherent explanation is that is the reason they love Cuba. As they loved Pol Pot. And Mao Zedong. And Lenin. And Stalin. And every other mass murder since 1945. And why they continue to defend the Islamists.

    In the meantime you have no other counter argument for their love-in. I don’t think you are likely to come up with one, although I am open to convincing there is a less vile reason for their views. Occam’s Razor suggests taking the least complicated explanation. Thus they love Castro because he tortures and kills.

  19. SMFS: if you think there’s an important difference in the way stillbirths are counted, perhaps you’d care to refer us to the relevant regulations. Because there is none that resembles your “Up to several weeks later for Germany” claim.

    Whereas I’m willing to counter your made-up facts, I’m not going to engage with the absurd trolling repeated in your last paragraph.

  20. PaulB – I’m not trolling, just interested in what you suggest is the reason the Guardian and others extol Cuba over Costa Rica?

  21. Jenny: I’m not a regular reader, but I’m not sure that the Guardian does extol Cuba over Costa Rica – this is the most recent Guardian article about healthcare in Cuba thrown up by google. And it did of course report the arrest of Yoani Sánchez.

    However, it’s true that most on the left would like socialism in Cuba to be a success. As part of that they would like it not to be totalitarian. Hence they tend to talk up success stories there and downplay reports of repression. There are many on the right who do the opposite.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “if you think there’s an important difference in the way stillbirths are counted, perhaps you’d care to refer us to the relevant regulations. Because there is none that resembles your “Up to several weeks later for Germany” claim.”

    Why would I want to bother? You’re wasting my time. It would not be hard but you are simply avoiding the issue. You cited Cuban figures without the slightest bit of critical thought. You have refused to back away from that. While, rather ironically, while criticising me for reporting a high figure for the number of people killed by Castro – even though *I* did what you did not, I flagged it as untrustworthy. You start to deal with the main issues and we can settle the trivial ones later.

    “Whereas I’m willing to counter your made-up facts, I’m not going to engage with the absurd trolling repeated in your last paragraph.”

    You continue to fail to produce an alternative explanation. You continue to dodge the issue by calling it trolling. This pathetic. The fact is that the mainstream British left has a hard on for Cuba. It does not for Costa Rica. There must be an explanation. I can only think of one. No one else has one. My explanation must stand until such time as a better explanation turns up.

    Repeating your objection to even thinking about this topic changes nothing.

    22PaulB – “I’m not sure that the Guardian does extol Cuba over Costa Rica”

    A delicate statement that hides as much as it enlightens. Amusing really. Not a positive statement that Paul knows he will be held to, but still suggestive. Of course Paul could do what I just did and google for the Guardian and Costa Rica. Which will turn up a few articles on CR’s environmental programmes, but none on its health care or education – none extolling its political system that I can see.

    But positive knowledge is dangerous. Far better to remain in ignorance and remain evasive.

    “However, it’s true that most on the left would like socialism in Cuba to be a success.”

    Notice that Paul describes the system they have in Cuba as socialist. Not that they call it that, but that he does.

    “As part of that they would like it not to be totalitarian. Hence they tend to talk up success stories there and downplay reports of repression. There are many on the right who do the opposite.”

    There being no evidence at all they would like it not to be totalitarian. As can be seen by the fact it would take a long time to find a single leftist who has lifted a finger to make it in any way not totalitarian. Not one petition. Not one campaign. However if they wanted it to be not totalitarian, how would shilling for it help? How would protecting the Castros, lying for them, down playing their brutality in any way help Cuba become less totalitarian? How does trying to prevent anyone changing the government do anything other than preventing a change in government?

  23. SMFS: “Why would I want to bother? You’re wasting my time. It would not be hard ” Because the way people who care about the truth settle disagreements about questions of fact is by reference to the evidence. Just to get you started, here‘s the wikipedia entry on the question. Of course I acknowledge that wikipedia can be wrong. So, since it would not be hard, tell us your source and we can weigh the evidence. Or admit that you just made it up.

    I note that you failed to find evidence of the Guardian extolling Costa Rica (I looked too, and found some but not much). But where’s the evidence for the Guardian extolling Cuba? My search suggested rather than opposite – you must have seen the links I gave.

    I remain unwilling to engage with your absurd trolling, however many illogical paragraphs you write about it.

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