Friday, March 10, 2006

Cuba gets an "in your face" lesson on free speech

From Breitbart/AP:
While Cuba played the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, a spectator in the stands raised a sign saying: "Down with Fidel," sparking an international incident that escalated Friday with the velocity of a major league fastball.

The image of the man holding the sign behind home plate was beamed live Thursday night to millions of TV viewers _ including those in Cuba. The top Cuban official at the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan rushed to confront the man.
We can conclude two things for certain: (1) the protestor did not come from Hollywood or an Ivy League college or university; and (2) the Cuban official acted reflexively in a manner consistent with what he would have done in his own country. Fortunately for the protestor, he was not dealt with in a manner that Cuban government officials normally deal with dissidents.

Much to the shock of the Cuban:
Puerto Rican police quickly intervened and took the Cuban official - Angel Iglesias, vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports - to a nearby police station, where they lectured him about free speech.

"We explained to him that here the constitutional right to free expression exists and that it is not a crime," police Col. Adalberto Mercado was quoted as saying in El Nuevo Dia, a San Juan daily.
Iglesias must have thought he was still in Cuba. Rumor has it that upon hearing the words "free expression", Iglesias said: "No comprendo."

The Cuban propraganda fishwrap had this to say about the incident:
The brouhaha gathered steam Friday when Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma, called the sign-waving "a cowardly incident."
So the CuComs think that free speech is cowardly, and stifling it is...what? Noble? Patriotic? Brave? Sorry, Grandmama...don't think so.

Damned shame Alec Baldwin didn't make good on his promise to leave the country after the 2000 election. Looks like he'd be a great fit in Cuba!