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November 10, 2009
Holding unfriendly regimes accountable for human rights

The U.S. State Department has deplored several recent assaults on bloggers who have been critical of Cuba’s government.


A Cuban man in the town of Vinales. Photo: Flickr user alschim

On October 13, we told you the story of Yoani Sanchez, who was denied permission by the Cuban government to travel to the United States to receive a prestigious award because she openly criticizes the Cuban government’s communist system on her blog, Generation Y.

On Friday, Sanchez and another blogger say they were forcefully detained and beaten by government agents as they were on their way to a march in Havana. Sanchez said that two agents stopped her and another blogger, then ordered them into a car and proceeded to kick her and pull her hair.

Here is an excerpt from her blog on Sunday, describing her obstacles after the attack, called Blame the Victim:

After an attack there are certain myopics who blame the victim herself for what happened. If it is a woman who has been raped, someone explains that her skirt was very short or that she strutted provocatively. If it is a robbery, there are those who will say a flashy purse or shiny earrings provoked the criminal’s greed. In the case of someone who has been the object of political repression, there is no lack of people who will justify it, saying that imprudence was the cause of such an “energetic” response. In the face of these attitudes, the victim feels doubly assaulted.

The dozens of eyes that watched as Orlando and I were forced into a car with blows would prefer not to testify, and so they put themselves on the side of the criminal.

Our question today is:
As the Obama administration begins talking to repressive countries like Cuba, is the administration doing enough to hold them accountable on human rights?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Comments

12 comments

#12

I enjoy the Cuban culture and fear that if U.S. interests are involved in their affairs, we will see another mafia like takeover and the socialist benefits will be co-opted. Tourism yes. U.S. propaganda no. Lift the blockade now.

#11

What do you expect? President Obama to take a stick
to these countries, get real!

#10

Both liberals and conservatives in the US have a tendency to substitute posturing, moralizing and self-righteousness for rational actions which are more likely to benefit the human rights of the persons we ostensibly seek to help.

It is particularly ironic in the case of Cuba where the supposed justification for denying the human rights of Americans to travel freely is to advance the human rights of Cubans.

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

#9

Just a ruse by BHO administration. Obama loves Castro because he’s is a socialist like BHO. This is typical BS for the idealist tree hugger believers.Heloves Chavez,too. BHO wants no dissent of thought on Cuba or Muslim terrorists different from His, but he has to play the p.c. Nobel Peace prize game for p.r. He also said the Muslim terrorist who killed Americans at Ft. Hood “just snapped”, and not that he was a Muslim terrorist. Nauseating,unpatriotic and typical BHO hypocrisy.

#8

The State Department was in bed with Blackwater, the mercenaries who imitated Murder Incorp. in Iraq. When it comes to human rights the US can only huff and puff.

#7

It seems hypocrisy has no limits. We finance, arm and prostrate ourselves for countries like England and Israel who have violated every international law you can think of.Cuba however, we must hold them to a higher standard.

#6

In a word, no. The President refused to meet with the spiritual leader of Tibetan Bhudists, was late to speak out for the Iranian opposition, and has remained silent on the huge weapons shipment on its way from Iran to Hamas captured by Israel, and the weapons handed to FARC terrorists in Columbia by Venezuala. Seems he finds it more important to have back-slapping photo ops with thugs and dictators when he should speaking as a powerful advocate for liberty and human rights. Thankfully the right people were in place at the right time over 25 years ago to bring an end to the tyranny of Soviet communism – people willing to speak truth to power.

#5

The U.S. admonishing or lecturing anyone about human rights would be the pot calling the kettle black.

#4

Western deceit. We hold countries accountable then we waterboard, jail innocent Blacks, fund big corporations and ignore homeless. Come on folks, America cannot continue to have such double standards. Countries with the most wealth (G8 got most of it by abusing the rest of the world. Until we are truly honest, we cannot tell any other country what to do. World peace, hopefully, comes when powerful nations stop being such snobs!

#3

Before holding any other countries accountable for human rights abuses and revealing its stupefying hypocrisy , the United States must prosecute its own war criminals responsible for torture, rendition and illegal wars.

#2

No,butit’s one of those washington things to give them that image that they care

#1

Before you hold Cuba and Myanmar accountable, you must have something they want. Presently neither country has anyt8gn from the US they want or need. As we open up commerce and other exchanges with both, we will gain leverage. One step at at time, please. Obama unlike Bush, LISTENS.

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