International Condemnation, Ltd.

by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo  and translated by Alex Higson  /  March 4, 2013  / No comments

Cuban Blogger Yoani Sánchez’s world tour illuminates Castroism outside of the Island.

Yoani in Brazil

Yoani Sánchez (center) in the Brazilian House of Representatives. To her right is Dado Galvão, director of the documentary 'Cuba-Honduras Connection.' Photo: José Cruz.

Yoani Sánchez, an outspoken journalist from the blog Generación Y, has finally been able to travel overseas—after her application was denied 20 times by the Cuban state—thanks to a migration reform that Raúl Castro’s government launched on the island in mid-January.

  1. Is it worth-while to focus on the last images and letters coming from the inside of the last living utopia on Earth? Is Cuba by now a contemporary country or just another old-fashioned delusion in the middle of Nowhere-America? A Cold-War Northtalgia maybe? Can we expect a young Rewwwolution.cu within that Ancien Régime still known as The Revolution? I would like to provoke more questions than answers.
  2. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.

After announcing a working tour that will take her to more than a dozen countries (including the United States), Sánchez chose Brazil as her first destination. There, she would take part in the launch of a movie called Cuba–Honduras Connection, a documentary in which she is interviewed by the director, Dado Galvão.

But just as Cuba’s Great Leader is withering away, Castroism is burgeoning with greater impunity than ever before in the free world, at the hands of an anti-imperialist left-wing that refuses to let the Cold War come to an end.

In order to avoid using the term “pogrom” the Cuban Communist Party invented the rather Orwellian actos de repudio, or acts of condemnation. Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of these acts have occurred on the island since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

Now, in the age of globalization, Sánchez continues to suffer several “acts” between the airport and the movie theater in Brazil, where the screening of Cuba–Honduras Connection had to be canceled thanks to the gangs of indignant and ignorant youths whose “macho-Leninist” ideology doesn’t even respect the fact that she is a woman.

There are signs that the Cuban ambassador in Brazil, Carlos Zamora Rodríguez, may be involved in encouraging this kind of international meddling—through political affiliation or in exchange, for example, for free grants to study in Cuba. Government official Ricardo Poppi Martins may also be involved, and as a result, Brazilian Senator Álvaro Dias warned that he is demanding an official investigation.

It is very sad that, after decades of being locked up by the repressive Cuban state, Cubans are traveling abroad only to realize that Castroism was not just endemic to the island. In this era, it must be depressing to discover that the planet is a perverse mirror that reflects the worst of our country.

About the Author

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.

View all articles by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

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