Cuba says prominent blogger part of US ‘cyber-war’
Cuba says prominent blogger part of US 'cyber-war'
March 23, 2011 – 2:05AM
Cuba on Monday accused prominent blogger Yoani Sanchez of taking part in
a "cyber-war" launched by the United States and aimed at destabilizing
the communist government.
The accusations came in a documentary series aired on state TV in which
an engineer from the information ministry and pro-government bloggers
accuse Washington of targeting the country through "cyber-dissident"
"There exists on the island a new kind of counterrevolution composed of
bloggers… These cyber-mercenaries constitute a new instrument to
create internal conflicts," the documentary said.
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Sanchez, 35, an internationally-known blogger and dissident who writes
on the site "Generation Y" has long traded barbs with a regime that
accuses her of serving foreign agendas.
In a blog video in response to the latest charges, Sanchez and five
other opponents accuse the government of "demonizing" the internet after
revolutions led by online activists brought down longstanding regimes in
Egypt and Tunisia.
"It is nervous because social networks like Twitter and Facebook can
play the same role in Cuba they did in Egypt and Tunisia," it said. The
video can be viewed at www.desdecuba.com/generationy.
Last month Cuba hailed the laying of a new undersea fiber-optic cable to
Venezuela, which it said would allow the country to surmount a
decades-old US embargo that had forced it to rely on more expensive
But dissidents have said the government keeps a tight grip on
information and communications to stifle dissent.
Earlier on Monday, US President Barack Obama urged Havana to take
"meaningful actions to respect the basic rights of the Cuban people"
during a Latin America visit overshadowed by the popular uprisings in
the Middle East.
The documentary series, entitled "Cuba's Reasons," is being aired
following the conviction this month of a US State Department contractor
on subversion charges, which further strained relations between the
American Alan Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly
committing "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of
the state" in a verdict Washington has called "an injustice."
He was working under contract for the US State Department when he was
arrested in late 2009 for distributing cell phones and computers to
members of the island's struggling Jewish community.