Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Daily dose of Terrorism

Something occurred to me yesterday in an email exchange with a friend, we were talking about the Cuban bloggers that we both enjoy reading (you can see links to their blogs in my "Stuff to Read" on the right hand side of your screen) and about the goings on within the island. We were talking about how recently (as you may have read on this blog) the state was still harassing the outspoken members of Porno Para Ricardo.

What occurred to me was this: would these young people be qualified as terrorists under Cuban law? So I started digging and found this: Law Number 93 : Law against acts of terrorism. So I read the 7 page document, although I'm no law expert, the section 8 was of special interest because it refers to the use of Information Technology in terrorism.

Like every other country Cuba has wide ranging definitions of the term terrorism, which leaves it open to interpretation on the part of the state. From the use of violence to cause terror all the way to "any person who incites or induces another or other persons by spoken word, in writing or in any other form, publicly or privately, to carry out some of the offenses envisaged in this Law."

One can argue that this doesn't specifically state that using the internet and email for blogging against the government or posting different opinions from that of the state are considered terrorist acts. But in section 8 we see the words anyone who "uses or allows use of electronic mail, other internet services..." So it's not hard to imagine that these bloggers with a little creative interpretation of the law could be considered terrorists.

In a state that considers a ceremony to remember 3 youths executed by the government as a terrorist act, can easily interpret what these bloggers are doing on a daily basis as terrorism.

I tip my hat to to them, because I enjoy reading what they write, because what they do is important, because they have guts, because they are trailblazers... and with that comes great burden and responsibility, they have become the voice of dissidence, the voice of the oppressed and the afraid, they are the guerillas of the Cuban internet.

The same way some considered Fidel to be a freedom fighter in the 50s, some people look at these bloggers as the freedom fighters of today. By the same token Fidel was a terrorist by Batista's standards and they are now terrorists by Fidel's standards.

Muchacho Enfermo


Patrick Ross said...

I can't help but fear for the safety of these individuals, but I can't help but hope they don't stop.

Muchacho Enfermo said...

From what I understand they don't ever plan on stopping. You've got to respect people who risk everything to be citizen journalists.