While I have criticized that article myself at length (here, here, and here), unlike Calzadilla I am not Cuban, do not live in Cuba, and thus am not subject to its leaders or laws. So, in Part II of this post on Calzadilla and the burgeoning Cuban blogosphere, let me share my analysis of his words and ideas.
Calzadilla begins by reminding his readers that Sanchez's blog Generacion Y is blocked in Cuba. Still, he has been able to read many of her writings (he does not say how) and finds Ubieta's claims against her unconvincing and unfounded by any evidence so far presented. Indeed, in his reading of Generacion Y, Calzadilla does not find anything "that threatens the civil norms of coexistence in a society of democratic rights and responsibilities, as Cuba is said to be."
Still, regardless of where it was printed, lumping Sanchez into the same group as "mercenaries, terrorists, counterrevolutionaries, murders, traitors or any other degrading ilk" is in Cuba "an accusation of extreme seriousness" - one that needs to be (and usually is) founded on solid evidence, according to Calzadilla.
Clazadilla claims that there is none.
Lacking any "proof" of her "crimes," Ubieta merely uses his assertions themselves as proof. He also uses the fact of her many awards as "evidence" of her being "constructed, promoted, sustained, and controlled" by a vague foreign conspiracy. Ubieta even uses "they say" as proof of Sanchez's nefarious links with Carlos Alberto Montaner and the CIA (as in "They say she met with Montaner in Spain...").
Finally, Calzadilla argues that Ubieta's trumped up claims against Sanchez and her "crimes" reveal only that her real crime is to think differently from ("to dissent" from) the government line, and to do so publicly, eloquently, and unapologetically.
"'She is a dissident in the literal sense in that she differs from official positions.' (This statement is so vague that it doesn’t explain anything, unless Ubieta believes it’s wrong for people to differ from official positions).Calzadilla ends his piece by admitting that he too has been surprised by Sanchez's rapid rise to fame and decoration with numerous awards. Part of her impact is surely due to this publicity, he assures us. However, in his view, she's much more than that. "She has the merit of having shown to the world -with a great deal of success and value- the common life of Cubans," he argues, "especially the common lives of the 30-something generation, who are disappointed but still combative."
"'Yoani not only speaks about politics, she engages in politics.' (Is it a crime to engage in politics? Is there no difference between recounting the misfortunes of daily life and engaging in politics?)
"She is a 'counter-revolutionary activist' (For saying what she thinks and becoming famous for that? For openly speaking about the humiliations she experiences?)
"All of the above-mentioned is blended with adjectives that don’t relate to the argument (like where Ubieta says Yoani possesses 'an irate thinness' and that she seems 'like an orphan who challenges her adopted parents.') These are expressions that contribute to negatively slanting the image of the blogger to a very misinformed public."
Disappointed but combative? That's an interesting combination of words - open to interpretation. I wonder how Calzadilla means it...
She may exaggerate reality a bit sometimes, he grants, but never more so than does Granma itself.
Go back to Part I of this post, "From the Cuban Blogosphere."