WikiLeaks And Repressive Regimes

Cuban  blogger Yoani Sánchez, at Generacion Y, has a fascinating post about the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable disclosures from the perspective of someone living under a repressive dictatorship:

What happened in recent days will significantly change how governments manage information and also the ways through which we citizens get a hold of it. But also — let’s not fool ourselves — those regimes that are based on silence and the lack of transparency, will reinforce the protection of their secrets, or avoid putting them in writing. Meanwhile, the exposure of the cables, memorandums and correspondence between diplomats and departments of state is being noted by authoritarians everywhere, and they are learning not to leave written evidence of their orders to silence, suppress or kill.

This lesson has already been practiced for decades, if not, when the day comes that those Cuban archives will be declassified, I will be searching them to see if they record the name of the person who decided to execute the three men who hijacked a ferry in 2003 to emigrate. Where is the paper that confirms the psychological pressure put on the poet Heberto Padilla to push him to a mea culpa that still weighs on the conscience of some? In which drawer, shelf or file do they keep the signature of the person who ordered the sinking of the tugboat 13 de Marzo, that killed the women and children who were washed overboard by the Coast Guard’s water cannon?

(Paragraph break added.)  For Cuban bloggers, “[e]ach person who reads us, protects us, so we need to strengthen the shield formed by readers and commentators.”  It is sad and scary to think about those who cannot simply say or write whatever they want as we can here.

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Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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