http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/reinaldo-escobar-husband-of-yoani-sanchez-challenges-cuban-security-agents/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Reinaldo Escobar, husband of Yoani Sanchez, challenges Cuban security agents

Posted November 13, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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By Will Weissert

The husband of an internationally known dissident Cuban blogger is challenging the presumed state security agents who roughed up his wife to a verbal duel on a Havana street corner.

Reinaldo Escobar said Thursday he feels compelled both as a husband and open critic of the communist government to avenge an incident last week, when two men in plainclothes allegedly forced political blogger Yoani Sanchez into an unmarked sedan, pulled her hair and kicked her.

The confrontation was so violent, Sanchez said she thought the men might kill her, but instead they dropped her off near her apartment.

“I had many options, like throwing two molotov cocktails at the Interior Ministry or keeping quiet like a coward,” Escobar said in a phone interview.

He said challenging the assailants to a duel is the most decent way to respond, since he doesn’t have their names or addresses.

Escobar posted a photo on his blog Thursday of a security agent at another event who he thinks was involved.

The Nov. 6 conflict left Sanchez using crutches, though she has vowed on her blog, “Generacion Y,” to keep writing her caustic, often witty criticism of the struggles of daily life on an island where there is no freedom of speech or assembly—and shortages of everything from basic food to building materials and school supplies.

Sanchez had been on her way to a small peace demonstration when she was detained with another blogger and government critic, Orlando Luis Pardo. A third cyberspace personality, Claudia Cadelo, was picked up by a police car around the same time.

The U.S. State Department said it “strongly deplores the assault” on all three.

Word of the demonstration was spread by an anonymous text messenger, who is now disseminating word of Escobar’s duel to the cellular phones of foreign journalists and members of the political opposition.

To hold his duel, Escobar plans to return Nov. 20 to the spot where Sanchez was detained, the corner of 23rd and G Avenues, amid the decaying mansions, 1950s movie theaters and high-rise hotels of Havana’s Vedado district.

“I’ll wait for you at 6 p.m. and I’ll be unarmed,” he said, addressing the assailants on his own blog, “Desde Aqui.”

Like “Generacion Y” and all blogs critical of the single-party government, Escobar’s site is blocked in Cuba.

The government has not commented, and there is no way to corroborate Sanchez’s claim that state security was involved. But government agents routinely harass members of Cuba’s tiny political opposition—especially when they try to organize marches or street protests.

Cuba tolerates no official opposition and dismisses nearly everyone who criticizes its government publicly as paid mercenaries of Washington.

Earlier this year, Time magazine named Sanchez—whose blog gets about 1 million hits a month—one of the world’s 100 most influential people. In October, the government denied her permission to travel to New York to receive a top journalism prize, the second time this year she has been barred from leaving the island.

Member Comments

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On November 18, 2009, Marek wrote:

Yoani’s conception of “beaten” serves only to show how out of touch she is. She was certainly “manhandled” because she refused to get in the car… something in north america is considered “resisting arrest” and could result in a fatal taser shot, if not worse. I wonder what she would have received had she been a part of an anti-G8 protest, like that one in Seattle a few years ago.

What’s interesting is that she for some reason began using crutches to walk, and yet has exhibited no evidence of physical mistreatment.

She is a master of self-promotion and self-victimization. She is irrelevant outside of the small group of malcontents and the typical sensationalist international press.

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On November 18, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Someone who is much more credible is a person like Pedro Campos Santos who actually openly offers some solutions to problems in Cuba and has offered these for public and government discussion without all the Yoani style theatrics played only for the foreign press.
Offering solutions will produce a much better result than confrontation and irrelevant whining.

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On November 18, 2009, paul wrote:

I don’t see solutions, I see another retired intellectual communist fart trying to make something that is totally undemocratic and authoritarian, to be peaceful in the future.

Socialism goes hand in hand with the military and authoritarianism. Cuba is run by the military, and the military is dogmatic and aggressive.

“Left Wing” ideas flourish in countries where there isn’t authoritarianism. Canada/Most of western Europe/Northern countries are great examples.

Every example of socialism has been yet another authoritarian turd. Cuba is a sinking ship, and the credit blockade is there to stay.

Oh yeah, and keep crying about it.

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On November 19, 2009, Cubana wrote:

Marek (or should I say Fidel) - would you voluntarily get in a car when told to by people with no uniform, who showed no warrant card and did not say where you were being taken to? Of course not, not even in a democracy, still less in a dictatorship like Cuba.

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On November 19, 2009, Marek wrote:

Oh, sure… I’ll just take Yoani’s word for it…. I’m sure it happened *just* the way she claims…

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On November 19, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Here comes again Marek.

We have to wait until the same guys “manhandles” you to see what would you say in that case.

The violence of the Cuban Security services had been well reported for over 50 years now, few people like yourself try to justify violence, even when you know that that kind of things happen daily in Cuba.

How would you not resist to been kidnapped in the middle of the street by plain clothe people without any kind of identification.

In North America the people that perform acts like that are prosecuted.

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On November 21, 2009, Marek wrote:

Really, Yeyo?

http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2009/11/university-of-california-adding-injury-to-injury.html

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On November 21, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Marek, here you come again.

I have seen these scenes in many countries, not only in the US if that is your objective.

The problem is that we are NOT TALKING ABOUT THE US. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ABUSES OF THE CUBAN REGIME.

So if somebody kills a person in the US would that means that is ok to kill somebody in Cuba. Grow up.
Why you do not give the example of free speech in the US and compare that to Cuba?

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On November 21, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

The Cuban government openly exercise state terrorism when send the police forces dressed like the populace to attack, kidnap and silence any signs of discontent or dissent, while trying to distract the world opinion.

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On November 21, 2009, paul wrote:

tremendo marekon

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On November 22, 2009, publisher wrote:

Here is the AP story WITH photos of his confrontation with Cuban security agents. Pretty bizarre. Usually when you see photos of a protest it’s the citizens doing all the yelling. In these pictures it looks like the brainwashed government supporters are doing all the yelling.

I wish Yoani and Reinaldo all the best and hope that more and more people see their message AND I hope the Cuban government screws up and makes more bad decisions like sending out all these government hacks in order to give the world the impression that the Cuban people are actually against Yoani and Reinaldo.

Marek,

Let me save you the time and post a comment for you…

1. Yeah but he wasn’t arrested.

or

2. How do you know those people were government agents? They are just concerned citizens.

or

3. Reinaldo is doing all this so he can also win peace prizes so he can show his wife that he is better than her.

Something like that Marek?

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On November 22, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Pub, look at the video taken by MSNBC on your favorite huffington post site and see the plain clothes police rescuing him from the pushing and shoving crowd and taking him back to an apartment entrance.

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On November 22, 2009, publisher wrote:

Right. Raul needs to protect them from the CDRs.

The CDRs just want to show they are good communists but Raul has no choice but to protect them now.

I LOVE IT!

They are being effective with international press and neighborhood recognition.

Now their cause is bigger than they are and fate is waiting.

Raul cannot stop the movement now.

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On November 22, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Pipefitter, that’s the same plain cloth police agents that organized the mob to attack hin on the first place. That is nothing new.

I participated in “popular” demonstrations like this in the 1980’s (the infamous “actos de repudio”) when they were very common. Normally the mob is transported there on government buses and most of the times they are given the day free of work to participate in this “voluntary and popular mob demonstration”.  Additionally they make music available, some times rum and/or beer and facilitate microphone and speakers to the mob leaders so they can direct the mob accordingly while silence the voice of the attacked dissidents.
People loves that: music + no work.
Every Cuban knows that, because most of them have been forced in one way or other to participate on them.

Now, I would like to see if somebody says that there is a boat at the malecon ready to take anybody for free to Miami, how many demonstrators would stay there.

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On November 22, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Look at it for yourself http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/21/reinaldo-escobar-spouse-o_n_366369.html

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On November 22, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Listen to the reporter for msnbc in Cuba in the video.

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On November 22, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPm68xcBzPs

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On November 22, 2009, paul wrote:

Ohhhhhhh YOU TOTALLY CONVINCED US BRO.

A video of Socialist doctors saying that she’s lying, and reporters who are obviously sympathetic to Socialist Cuba.

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On November 23, 2009, publisher wrote:

Pipefitter,

Regarding the huffington post/NBC video… what is your point or comment?

Were you surprised by the size of the crowd?

I see this as the potential beginning of the end of Raul’s control. He cannot ignore Yoani and Reinaldo any more and can’t do anything to shut them down either.

Pandora’s box is open.

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On November 23, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

My point was, how the plain clothes police protected him, not shown in Yoani’s video, and directed him to a safe place. What a fool to go down to a place were the communist youth were setting up a gathering with chairs and band etc. I doubt the crowd was there for Reinaldo’s benefit. Yoani, show me the picture evidence of your so called beating.

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On November 23, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Pipefitter, are you trying to pass by naive or to make us look stupid.

You know that is the modus operandi of the Castro Goverment. They organize the mob and them take the attacked dissidents to a “safe place” so people like you and Marek can say that they were “protecting the dissidents”. But they were the ones that organized the whole thing on the first place!!

If they really wanted to protect them the only thing the needed to do was to tell the mob: “do not touch them” and the obedient mob would not attack them. We know that the instructions were other: to attack them, to teach them well the lesson: In Cuba nobody dissent Fidel Castro. Or you forget the message of the mob: “...esta calle es de Fidel…” (this is Castro’s street). Only the message says everything.

Anybody that has seen the article or the video and is half intelligent knows that this was well crafted and organized by the G2.

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On November 23, 2009, Marek wrote:

You guys are a riot. Let me suggest another viewpoint:
“The Yoani Show”
http://cuba-l.unm.edu/?nid=73362

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On November 23, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

The government didn’t set the scene for the disorder, It was Yoani’s husband that went into the street and crafted the confrontation knowing that the young communists were having an event there and had all the foreign press waiting there. Yoani is a fraud and prone to lying as stated by the chair in the U.S. hearings last week on the American travel to Cuba bill.

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On November 23, 2009, publisher wrote:

pipefitter,

Enough with your lies and propaganda please. I watched the entire Hearing and the Chairman said nothing about Yoani being a fraud and prone to lying.

Marek,

Your Yoani Show link is just a link to a commentary, certainly not an independent news source. 

So, for the Marek’s, Pipefitters and other Fidel supporters here, keep it up. I love to see all the propaganda posted as though it’s fact.

The more Yoani discussion there is the more her truth will get out along with the truth of the Cuban government.

You two (and others) can try to stop her but she and Reinaldo are a movement now that is much bigger then they are.

This time it’s different. Accept it or go down with the sinking ship that is Cuba’s Communist system.

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On November 23, 2009, Marek wrote:

Publisher: If you’ll refer to my post, you will note that I said “another viewpoint” - I didn’t offer it as such an authoritative news source (snicker) as the Miami Herald….

May I suggest that you need a little historical perspective. Yoani and her hubby are “a movement” only in the eyes of the foreign media and those who grasp any possible straw to show that the Cuban government is about to cave in to internal dissent. We’ve heard it all before, and the advent of the blogosphere isn’t going to endow these people with magical regime-change powers.

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On November 23, 2009, publisher wrote:

“the advent of the blogosphere isn’t going to endow these people with magical regime-change powers”

You sure about that?

Communication is information and information is power.

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On November 23, 2009, paul wrote:

Pipefitter and Marekon are essentially the cyber equivalent of obedient government workers. Defending a fascist government, spitting on civil disobedience, and upholding the fascist status quo. I bet you two cronies hate militarism throughout the world, but are A-OK with Cuba’s military government.

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On November 23, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Marek, the link you posted in your post No. 22 is simply a bunch of pro-Castro free Mojitos (if you do not like Mojitos, them free Daiquiris) “academics”.

Pipefitter the only one that can not see that the whole thing was organized byt he goverment is you and Marek. Come on, in Cuba everything is done by the goverment and with the goverment eye. Ask your family there and lattter let us know what they say about it.

Take a look to this link with another point of view:
http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/america_latina/cuba/story/593974.html

Look at the guys that incited the mob, they look like “segurosos” and they are “segurosos”, they were the ones tha organized the whole thing and later the same guys that “rescued” Reinaldo to safe place, however they rescued him only after inciting and allowing the mob to attack him without compassion that he was along.

I can tell you because I know about it, nobody told me,  I have been there and seen the same procedure, many, many times.

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On November 23, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Pub, I also watched the entire hearings. Im sure Berman eluded to Yoani being prone to a little bending of the truth in his closing statement as I said, but I can’t prove it because as you know the transcripts are not available yet and there is no video now.
Yeyo, that video doesn,t show us anything new. All it shows is how the police protected him. Man, he is so lucky that the police were there to help him out isn’t he? Who organized the foreign press to just happen to be there? Reinaldo was the one making statements in front of the cameras before the shit hit the fan. Reinaldo, show us your heat rash again. 
  Yoani, show us your cuts, pulled out hair and bruises! Yoani is nothing more than a well paid shill for the US foreign policy propaganda machine better known for her antics than writing skills.
Paul how is your daddy Diaz (Balart)?

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On November 24, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Oh ya, after looking again, I forgot to mention the two chupazones Rienaldo had on his neck also. That must have realy hurt.

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On November 24, 2009, Cubana wrote:

Rob

Unfortunately the phrase “none so blind as will not see” sum up pipefitter and Marek perfectly.

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On November 24, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Pipefitter is remarkable that you are making jokes about the human suffering. Is amazing that you can serve the abusers and rejoice of such a big injustice.
I previously thought that you had your own opinions (different than mine but still yours).
However the above posts show us that you are just doing your job and posting what you been told to post.

Only want to tell you that this would not always be the case. The new technologies are allowing everything that is happening to be recorded. The abusers are been catch by digital phones and cameras and some day they would have to pay in front of a judge for the abuses that are committing now.

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On November 24, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Yeyo, let’s see the pictures.

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On November 25, 2009, Marek wrote:

So some *real* reporters decided to dig into Yoani’s story. People who actually can speak Spanish, are in Havana, and spoke with the doctors who treated her following her incident.  The gist of it all?  Yoani seems to be less than honest in her claims of physical harm…

http://www.larepublica.es/spip.php?article17441
(English translation: http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs2783.html)

And here’s an article (Spanish only, sorry) documenting Yoani’s “independence”:

http://www.larepublica.es/spip.php?article13897

And on a side note… “paul” your ability to turn my name into a comical take on “maricón” cracks me up. Great to have an intellectual discussion of such high calibre with you, pal.

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On November 25, 2009, publisher wrote:

Wow. That is very damning information!

Doctors who work for the Cuban government giving an interview with “reporters” saying Yoani is lying.

Kind of funny really.

Nice try Marek.

Do you really think anyone will believe these doctors’ stories?

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On November 25, 2009, Marek wrote:

Anyone? Yes. People who are not so jaded nor have drunk the Miami kool-aid.  Never for a moment did I think that some of the commenters here would give it any credence.

Do a search at La República for “Yoani” - a number of very interesting reports, including verification of my own (dismissed by all of you) eye-witness accounts of Yoani easily accessing WiFi at hotel lobbies in Havana… this from the woman who has waxed poetic about the “cloak and dagger” routine she “must” use to post her stories online (http://www.larepublica.es/spip.php?article15519)

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On November 25, 2009, paul wrote:

Glad that cracks you up, Marek…..on

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On November 25, 2009, paul wrote:

LOL that we drink the “Miami kool-aid” for dismissing these reports, but of course you aren’t drinking the “Castro red kool-aid” for defending these Castro sympathizers and government doctors.

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On November 27, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Hey Marek, not everybody that believes in Yoani and knows the abuses of the regime are from Miami. I (like pipefitter and you) live in Canada.

By the way your post about Doctors saying that Yoani was lying was kind of childish, as you well know all Doctors in Cuba works for the government, what you feel they would say if asked by “reporters”.  Their miserable salary depends on them complying with the government requirements. Obviously nobody see nothing.

Now if one of their friends ask them he or she would probably have a different opinion.

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On November 28, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Yoani, show us the fotos!

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On January 20, 2010, publisher wrote:

Sorry, comment spammer has been banned.