The jury for the Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards -- The BOBs -- has announced the winners in all 16 of the competition's categories.Here's what babalu's Ziva had to say about Yoani, pictured at right, back in December of 2007 in the comments section of a babalu post that first announced Yoani's blogging.
Of the 11 finalists in the Best Blog category, Generación Y, a Cuban blog written by Yoani Sanchez, claimed the Jury Prize for Best Blog.
The jury said that Sanchez gives voice to an entire generation of Cubans and provides the world with a window into Cuba through her clear and poetic writing.
In addition to a slew of other obstacles in her way, Sanchez can't even post her own entries to the blog. Instead she is forced to e-mail them to friends outside of Cuba in order for her words to go online. Despite the challenges she has to overcome, she's managed to keep in contact with her readers and create a huge international community around her work.
"A recurring feature is her 12-year-old son's school. Recently, he participated in a military shooting exercise there. Her son enjoyed playing soldier, but she was outraged."
What did she expect him to learn when she brought him back to Cuba? I'm sorry, but I have to question the character of a women who would purposely return her child to be indoctrinated, to learn to be "like che." Because it was too hard on her husband, and she couldn't bear family separation? Well they are all together, in Cuba. The price? Her son, because now he belongs to castro, inc.
R. Martel: This woman is so full of it. Whoever wants to be blind so be it! What a bout the thousands of Cubans who were honest about their feelings in Cuba and ended up in front of a firing squad or with a sentence of 30 years. What about the 75 who received sentences up to 30 years in jail precicely because they were honest. It's obvious this woman is a tool of the inteligence aparatus.
Alberto de la Cruz: God knows I hope she is for real. I find it interesting though, that she and her family had no problem with the "revolution," in fact they believed in it, until it began hurting them during the "special period."
To be fair, babalu has since embraced Sanchez and features her posts regularly. But I find it interesting that had it not been for the rest of the world who believed in and promoted Sanchez and Generación Y from the beginning, the Cuban-American hardliner community might have well written her off as a tool of Castro and dismissed her writings as nothing more than manipulative propaganda.
In a response to this post, babalu's Henry Gomez resorts to his typical callow name-calling and characterizations before he points out exactly what I brought up in the post...that babalu is now fully supportive of Sanchez and her efforts. I'm in total agreement with him on this issue.
However, in his retort, Gomez attempts to frame Ziva's attacks and the other comments that were directed at Sanchez as babalu's attempt to figure out who Sanchez was...
But today a genuine pig of a person has decided to go back in the Babalu archives and retrieve comments from Babalu contributors and commenters from the period during which we were trying to assess who Yoani is and what she is about.Actually, the pigs of which Gomez speaks are the ones that attack people, like Sanchez, by questioning their character, their intentions and their loyalties when they know little or nothing about them. Those are the real pigs of the internet. And those are the pigs of Miami's proud, hard-working and respectful Cuban-American community, a community that regularly disowns these thugs even as they risk being attacked and maligned as Castroites and communists themselves.
The fact of the matter is that babalu contributors and commenters criticized, questioned and maligned Yoani Sanchez when she first started blogging. Now they support her. Those are the facts and the points I articulated in the post. Gomez can call me every name in the book for pointing out those facts and he can also play the poor victim to "the lonesome loser" [just how pitiful does that make him?] but when it comes down to it, the facts are the facts. Right there in black and white for everyone to see and judge for themselves.
And, uh, hey Gomez? Thanks for reading SFDB, bro.
Alex says it in the comments...
The fact remains that of all the people in the world who were reading and marveling at Yoani, it was some Cuban exiles who made her wonder "maybe I should be in jail to prove I'm legit" -and it all came from her returning to Cuba after living abroad. That's the extent of the paranoia and it's pretty sad. It takes a big stretch of the imagination not just to think Yoani was a plot to advance some supposed Raul-as-reformist PR effort but also THAT was their first thought! It has to be! Cuban's can't access internet! Cubans are thrown in jail the second they write something critical! There are spies amongst us!
Most appropriately, Ziva announces Yoani's award in a post today.
Her beautiful brave writing does much more than that; her writing bridges 50 years of violence enforced silence and separation of the Cuban people by the castro dictatorship. Her writing verifies the failure of the Revolution.
Ziva does not mention her previous suspicions of Sanchez and her character, nor does she rescind them.