20 sept. 2009

Tres opiniones sobre Pánfilo y su excarcelación

For years Cuba has reacted to outside pressure to release political prisoners. European presidents, members of the U.S. Congress, famous writers have all interceded on behalf of political prisoners, such as Armando Valladares, Ernesto Díaz Rodríguez, and Angel Cuadra, who were brought to their attention by campaigns orchestrated by a handful of human rights activists. Still, it took decades to free most of them.
That was pre-Internet. Pánfilo is a different story. He may have been both doomed and saved by the Internet. His YouTube video was seen by more than half a million. But so was the news of his sentence and imprisonment and, more important, a quick thinking campaign that incorporated the best that technology has to offer.
It took days to collect more than 3,000 signatures on his behalf. Back in the '60s and '70s and even the '80s, when activists like Frank Calzon, now with the Center for a Free Cuba, were campaigning to free political prisoners, communication between Cuba and Washington could take months.
``First we had to hear about the case from someone who brought it to our attention,'' said Calzon. ``Pánfilo was known to the world before he was imprisoned.''
He was also the perfect victim. Pánfilo was not a human-rights activist, a dissident or an intellectual. He is, simply, a man. A black man who is hungry and drinks too much. Therein lie his power and his weakness.
The government has always been intolerant of dissent, but it is particularly vicious when the dissenter is black. The most recent victims of execution in Cuba were three young black men attempting to steal a vessel to escape the island six years ago.
Pánfilo has escaped that fate. He's never said he wants to leave Cuba. What he wants is food. What he needs is food, rehab and freedom. But when he walks out of rehab, Pánfilo will still lack food. And freedom.
Aquí el artículo de Mirta Ojito: Hunger, unsated, The Miami Herald

Imagine you have a couple of drinks — a couple too many — and you see a guy with a video camera filming your friend. You have a beef with the government, say, you think we should be out of Iraq. Or you vehemently oppose health care reform (I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are a few who vehemently oppose reform).
You push your way into the frame and you spill your guts. You briefly walk away and then you come back with even more outrage and you yell your complaint again into the camera. You use a couple of swear words for emphasis and then you go home to sleep it off.
The guy with the camera goes home and uploads the video to YouTube. It goes viral in a matter of days and your troubles begin.
Aquí el artículo de Jesus Maria Alvarez: YouTube Has the Evidence…, Cubiyanqui

Me he levantado con la noticia del traslado de Pánfilo desde la cárcel a una clínica psiquiátrica, quizás para comenzar allí su desintoxicación. En la lista de las victorias alcanzadas –que aún son pocas y limitadas– por la sociedad civil cubana durante el último año, hay que anotar la salida de este humilde hombre de la celda. En la breve enumeración de lo logrado, debe estar también la liberación de Gorki Águila hace más de un año y la no aplicación de una resolución que impedía a los nacionales conectarse a Internet en los hoteles.
Pienso que la evolución de lo acontecido en el caso “Pánfilo”, ha sido lograda por la labor de quienes llevaron la campaña Jama y Libertad y que ayer mismo entregaron tres mil firmas pidiendo su liberación. También hay que agradecerle a numerosos medios de prensa internacionales que contribuyeron a llamar la atención sobre los dos injustos años de condena contra Juan Carlos González. La blogósfera alternativa -como era de esperar- ayudó a empujar el muro, que parecía robustecerse aquel día en que encarcelaron a quien sólo reclamaba comida.
Aquí el artículo de Yoani Sánchez: Sanatorio para Pánfilo … ¿y comida? ¿y libertad?, Generación Y

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