Cuban ‘Wikipedia’ includes entry for dissident blogger
HAVANA — Cuba's EcuRed digital encyclopedia, inspired by Wikipedia and
operated by the island's Communist Youth, has added an entry for
award-winning dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez.
The unusual turn of events in the Communist country, where information
is tightly controlled and dissent is barely tolerated, comes with a
price: Sanchez, 36, is described as a "cybermercenary."
Sanchez has been speaking her mind on the "Generation Y" blog since 2007
and has long traded barbs with a regime.
The blog, http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/, has a huge following in
Cuba and abroad and is translated by volunteers into 15 languages.
The Spanish daily El Pais awarded Sanchez the prestigious Ortega y
Gasset award prize in 2008, and in that year Time magazine included her
on a list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The Cuban online encyclopedia, which began operations in 2010, says that
Sanchez's blog "was promoted almost immediately" after it opened "in
various newspapers around the world."
Sanchez "has accepted other prizes and recognition from openly
counter-revolutionary and far-right groups," the EcuRed entry reads.
It links her to the Ladies in White -- a protest group of female
relatives of political prisoners -- and the US Interest Section in Havana.
"More than once she has denounced mistreatment and harassment" from
Cuban security officials, "but has never been able to prove it," the
State-run news on the island occasionally gives information on
dissidents, but EcuRed goes as far as including entries on prominent
regime opponents like Guillermo Farinas and the Ladies in White.
Sanchez has accused the Cuban government of "censuring" the Internet and
of denying her permission to travel abroad 19 times over the past four
years, most recently to Brazil this month.
Havana accuses dissident bloggers like Sanchez of being "mercenaries" at
the service of Washington, and of waging a "cyber war" with US support
against the Cuban government.