The Berlin Wall was toppled twenty years ago today, but it’s always 1988 in one of Canada’s favorite vacation spots:
Famed Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez said Friday she and another blogger were punched and thrown violently into a car by presumed state security agents as they walked to participate in a peaceful march in downtown Havana.
Sánchez, the best-known Cuban blogger on the island and off, said she and bloggers Pardo and Claudia Cadelo and a woman friend were walking to join a “march against violence” organized by several young musicians when they were intercepted by three men in civilian clothes. Cuba’s state security service agents frequently operate out of uniform.
“We were almost there when we were intercepted by three men in a car with civilian license plates who ordered us to get in,” she said.
“We refused. I didn’t know if they were kidnappers. And the level of their violence went up.”
Sánchez said they were near the Calixto Garcia hospital in downtown Havana when she and Pardo were dragged toward the car. She was “thrown head-first inside,” where “they applied judo or karate holds to us and the punches . . . kept raining down.”
During the fray, Sánchez continued, she grabbed a piece of paper from the pocket of one of the men and put it in her mouth.
“I don’t know, it was like saying to him, ‘I have something of yours….He became even more furious and there were more blows.'”
The paper, which she kept, contained a name and a telephone number.
After driving for about 20 minutes, the driver stopped in an area far from where Sánchez and Pardo had been detained “and we were violently thrown on the street,” Sánchez said.