Cuba Inside Out : 40 Questions for Yoani Sánchez
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From: Karen Lee Wald
Subject: Cuba Inside Out : 40 Questions for Yoani S�nchez
Date: Feb 20, 2013 12:49 PM
"40 Questions for Yoani S�nchez"
by Salim Lamrani
Translation by Colin Brayton.
1. Who is organizing and financing your world tour?
2. In August 2002, after marrying a German citizen known as Karl G., you
left Cuba, describing it as �an immense ideological prison,� emigrating to
Switzerland, one of the richest nations in the world. Surprisingly, in
2004, you decided to return to Cuba, which you called �a leaky boat on the
verge of foundering,� where �shadowy figures feed off our human joy,
terrorizing us with violence, threats and blackmail,� and where
�pocketbooks are empty, frustration grows and the reign of terror takes
hold.� What motivated your decision to return?
3. According to documents from the Cuban diplomatic mission in Berne and
the foreign service offices, you asked to be permitted to return because of
economic difficulties you experienced in Switzerland. Is that true?
4. How could you marry Karl G. if you were already married to your current
cousin, Reinaldo Escobar?
5. Is it still your goal to establish �a sui generis form of capitalism� in
6. You created your blog, Generaci�n Y, in 2007. In April 2008 you won the
�15,000 Ortega y Gasset journalism prize from the Spanish daily El Pa�s.
This prize is usually given to prestigious journalists or writers with a
distinguished career. This was the first time a person of your stature has
won the prize.
You were also named one of the 100 most influential persons in the world by
Time magazine. Your blog was included in the CNN-Time list of the 25 best
blogs in the world and was similarly recognized by Deutsche Welle's The
El Pa�s included you on its list of the most significant Latin Americans in
2008. Foreign Policy named you one of the most important intellectuals of
the year in December 2008, as did the Mexican magazine Gato Pardo.
The prestigious Columbia University awarded you its Mar�a Moors Cabot
How do you explain this avalanche of prizes, accompanied by significant
amounts of money, after only a year in existence?
7. On what have you spent the 250,000-euro prize money from these sources,
which represent the equivalent of 20 years of a French minimum salary � and
1,488 years of a Cuban minimum salary?
8. The Inter-American Press Association � SIP-IAPA � a group of major Latin
American media groups, named you its regional VP for Cuba, as part of its
Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information. What is your monthly
salary for this position?
9. You are also a correspondent of the Spanish daily El Pa�s. What is your
10. How many theater tickets, books, months of rent or pizzas can be bought
with your monthly income?
11. How do you intend to represent the Cuban people when you enjoy a
standard of living that residents of the island can never enjoy?
12. How do you connect to the Internet if, as you claim, Cuban citizens
13. How can your blog accept Paypal, a payment system not available to any
island resident because of economic sanctions that affect, among other
14. How is it that you are able to display a copyright notice � �� 2009
Generaci�n Y � All Rights Reserved� � when no other Cuban blogger can do
the same because of the embargo?
15. Who is behind the URL desdecuba.net, whose server is located in Germany
and managed by Cronos AG Regensburg, a company registered in the name of
Josef Biechele which also hosts extreme right-wing Web sites?
16. How are you able to register your domain through the U.S. company
GoDaddy, when this is formally forbidden under current economic sanctions?
17. Your blog is available in 18 languages � including English, French,
Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian .. Polish, Chinese, Japanese,
Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Finnish, Korean and Greek.
No other Web site in the World � not even the sites of important
international agencies, such as the UN, the World Bank, the IMF, OECD or
the European Union � offers this degree of linguistic support. Not even the
U.S. State Department or the CIA offer this degree of access to non-English
speakers. Who finances the translations?
18. How is it possible that the site that hosts your blog offers bandwidth
60 times greater than the Internet access service Cuba offers to its users?
19. Who pays for the bandwidth control of 14 million monthly visits?
20. You have 400,000 followers on Twitter. Only 100 of them live in Cuba.
You yourself follow 80,000 Twitter users.
You have stated that you �twit using a SMS connection without Web access.�
How can you follow 80,000 persons without having an Internet connection?
21. Follower Wonk � http://www.followerwonk.com � enables us to profile the
followers of any Twitter user. Starting in 2010 your account has been
amazingly active. Starting in June 2010, you were subscribing to 200
different Twitter accounts each day, peaking at some 700 accounts per
24-hour day. How did you accomplish this feat?
22. Why are nearly 50,000 of your followers actually ghost accounts or
inactive profiles? In fact, of the more than 400,000 profiled followers,
27.012 are �eggs�) (no photo) and 20,000 exhibit the characteristics of
�ghost� accounts with zero activity � between zero and three postings since
the opening of the account.
23. How is it possible that so many Twitter accounts exist only to follow
and re-Tweet you, accounting for 2,000 messages? Would you be trying to
create a fictitious popularity? Who financed the creation of fictitious
24. In 2011, you published 400 messages per month. The price of sending one
SMS message from Cuba is $1.25. So, you spent $7,000 in one year of Twitter
use. Who pays for this?
25. How is it possible for President Obama to grant an interview to you out
of the hundreds of requests he receives from news media around the world?
26. You have stated publicly that you sent Cuban president Ra�l Castro a
request for interview after receiving Obama�s responses.
An official document from the chief U.S. diplomat in Cuba, Jonathan D.
Farrar, states that you never wrote to Ra�l Castro: �She was not expecting
a response from him, admitting that she had never sent them to the
president. Why did you lie?
27. Why do you conceal your meetings with U.S. diplomatic personnel in
28. According to documents revealed by Wikileaks, between September 16 and
22 September, 2010, you met secretly in your apartment with assistant
Secretary of State Bisa Williams during her visit to Cuba. Why have you
remained silent about this meeting? What was discussed during it?
29. Michael Parmly, the former U.S. chief of mission in Havana, says that
he met regularly with you at your home, as confidential documents from the
Cuban intelligence service attest. In an interview, Parmly shared his
concern over the diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks: �I would be very
distressed if the many conversations I have had with Yoani were disclosed.
She could suffer the consequences her entire life.� The question that
immediately comes to mind is: Why have you allegedly experienced legal
troubles if, as you say, you operate within the bounds of the law?
30. Do you still believe that �many Latin American writers deserved the
Nobel Prize for LIterature more than Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez did�?
31. Do you continue to believe that �during the Batista dictatorship
(1952-58) Cuba enjoyed open and diverse freedom of press coverage and radio
32. In 2010, you said: �The blockade has provided the regime with a perfect
excuse to maintain its intolerance, its control and its repression of
internal dissent. If economic sanctions were to end tomorrow, I doubt very
much that the effects would be felt ��
Did you continue to believe that economic sanctions have had no effect on
the Cuban people?
33. Do you condemn the imposition of economic sanctions on Cuba?
34. Do you condemn the U.S. policy of regime change in Cuba under the
banner of democracy, given that the U.S. has supported worse dictators in
the Middle East?
35. Do you favor the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile and
former CIA agent responsible for more than 100 assassinations who has
acknowledged his crimes and remains at large in Miami thanks to the
protection of Washington?
36. Do you favor the return of the naval base at Guant�namo, currently
occupied by the U.S?
37. Do you favor the freeing of five Cuban political prisoners held in the
U.S. since 1998 for having infiltrated Cuban exile groups in Florida?
38. In your view, is it normal for the U.S. to finance internal dissidents
in order to bring about �regime change�?
39. In your view, what have been the accomplishments of the Cuban
40. What special interests operate behind the scenes of your persona?
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