30 November 2009
Yoani Sanchez: raking it in the dissident way
Yoani Sanchez, the Cuban blogger who does America's bidding, is usually held up as a heroine by the right. However the Cuban people seem to have tired of the woman and her antics, with November becoming a bad month indeed for America's clients in the country. We reported recently that Sanchez had attempted to dupe the international media into believing that she had been attacked by government agents, but that the same media was dubious about the story. They were right to keep an open mind especially since the three doctors that she visited have gone on record as saying that she had no visible injuries.
In a desperate attempt to keep the tale alive, Sanchez's husband, Reinaldo Escobar, went to 23rd Street in Havana on the 20th November, to the spot where his wife was supposedly attacked the week before with the aim of challenging the police over the mythical incident. Unfortunately for him the street was alive with people attending a book fair and Escobar had to be rescued by the very police that he had gone to challenge, as this video shows. In case you are wondering, he is the old man with the long hair dyed black, wearing a light purple shirt, who looks about ready to shit his load at the 18 second mark on the video:
It is hard to understand why Sanchez needs to go to all this trouble since she is raking in thousands of pounds a year from her blog and the mugs who have been duped into supporting it by the powerful interests who back her.
As this Argentinian report shows, the Sanchez blog began in April 2007 and by October of that year Reuters had reported its existence. In December the Wall Street Journal devoted a whole page to the news and the following month the Spanish daily el Pais got in on the act with a plug of its own. In April 2008, just a year after the blog began its life, Sanchez won the Spanish Ortega y Gasset prize, which comes with a €15,000 award, and in October of 2009 she won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Colombia University which carries a very nice $15,000 along with it. It is hard to think of any other blogger anywhere in the world who has been given the amount of free publicity, to say nothing of bucket loads of cash, that this one has received.
By all accounts the takings are funnelled into a Valencia branch of the Bilbao Vizcaya bank, which has the advantage of keeping her earnings out of the clutches of the Americans who obviously would not wish their blockade of Cuba to be broken in any way - would they?
Actually the Americans don't seem to be all that bothered about Yoani Sanchez and her lucrative activities. The blog contains a PayPal button that her dupes can use to donate money to her and there has never been any suggestion that the American government has tried to stop PayPal from shovelling the brass Yoani's way. To put that into perspective, this year alone the Americans have closed down over eighty websites that allowed people to trade with Cuba, but PayPal, an American company, is allowed to send money to Spain on behalf of this Cuban woman. The conclusion is irresistible that this is only being allowed to happen because Sanchez is an American client and that is how she receives her payments.
How is the blog financed, since running it must cost a fortune? The blog is hosted in Germany and by all accounts uses up to sixty times more bandwidth than is available in the whole of Cuba. That amount alone is going to cost a pretty penny, and then we need to factor in the costs of running the blog in no less than eighteen different languages. How are all those pages administered and who pays the administrators? How much do they receive? What about the army of translators - how are they recruited, who pays them, and how much are they paid? This is an operation involving people is many different countries that must cost thousands of dollars to run: if anyone thinks that Yoani Sanchez is some bird sat in her nightdress, posting merrily to a free blogging platform, then they are living in a fantasy world. Where the money comes from to keep the operation going is a legitimate question that is only now being asked by the English language blogs.
The issue here is not that Yoani Sanchez should be prevented from blogging: of course she should write whatever she wants and we who are a part of the blogging world must support that right. However, we socialist bloggers have the right and the duty to say that this woman is not the heroine that the capitalist media present. She is a scab who seeks to undermine Cuba's socialist system and who seems to be receiving money and support from some heavyweight capitalist players as part of that aim.