Je Suis Dieudonne

 Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, the French comedian better known as Dieudonne, has been arrested and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism in the wake of a Facebook post that referred to last week's deadly attacks in Paris. (c) Michel Euler/AP
Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, the French comedian better known as Dieudonne, has been arrested and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism in the wake of a Facebook post that referred to last week’s deadly attacks in Paris.
(c) Michel Euler/AP

From NPR:

Controversial French comedian Dieudonne has been arrested in the wake of the deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism. He was one of 54 people held across France; none has been linked to the attacks.

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3 Years o’ Blogging

English: The New York City fireworks over the ...
The New York City fireworks over the East Village of New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cubiyanqui is 3 years-old today.

This little speck in the blogging universe has been my home for over a thousand days. During that period, my enthusiasm for this enterprise has not diminished, even if occasionally — like the last couple of months —  the available time that I’ve had to dedicate to it, has. When I started the blog, I was unemployed. There was plenty of free time left over for posting after all those resumes were mailed out. Today, a job I’m very thankful for takes a lot of my energy and focus. As it should be. I’d much rather be an occasional blogger, than a frequent one facing foreclosure.

From the window that faces the Hudson, on this home saved by grace, I have a sliver of an opening to the New York City skyline. As I write this, the fireworks have just begun. Luckily, one of the Macy’s barges is sitting on the river, directly in front of us. My five and a-half year old son is more excited about the spectacle than I remember him on years past. I loose count of the “Wows” after the first few minutes. Behind the exploding shells — and in direct competition with them — sits a day-old new moon, a majestic red that will soon fade in the haze.

I never picked Independence Day as the day to start the blog. It was a coincidence, but I appreciate the symbolism. I value the liberty to write about or post anything here. Freedom of expression is a big turn on. It is what so many people come in search of, when they come to America. The idea that you can be who you are and say what you mean, whether from a street corner or a humble blog.

I love this country!

Chavez, the Paranoid

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks during a ceremony at the headquarters of the state-run oil company PDVSA in Caracas May 12, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins © 2010 Reuters All rights reserved.

Via the Associated Press:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on authorities Sunday to investigate an article on a critical website that he said appears aimed at inciting a coup.Chavez read aloud from the Noticiero Digital article in which columnist Roberto Carlos Olivares writes that active and former military officers have been meeting to plan an ”inevitable” transition in the country.

Speaking on his weekly broadcast program, Chavez said the piece constitutes an apparent crime and told his vice president, ”This must be investigated urgently.”

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Today Is “World Press Freedom Day”

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Journalists In need of help from around the world

A reminder from Amnesty International:

World Press Freedom Day (May 3) provides an opportunity for people around the world to celebrate the fundamental human right to freedom of expression, defend the media from attacks on their independence and honor the memory of journalists who have lost their lives because of the peaceful exercise of their right to speak and write freely.

Amnesty International works to protect journalists from harassment and death threats, free them from arbitrary detention and guarantee them their right to freedom of expression. TAKE ACTION now on behalf of these journalists around the world.

YouTube Has the Evidence…

PanfiloImagine 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.

If your drunken tirade had happened here, the internet notoriety would possibly get you a mention on the Daily Show or on Countdown’s Best Person in the World segment. But if you just happen to live in Cuba, your 1:20 minutes of fame gets you 2 years in jail. You would then be granted early release and a speedy transfer to a psychiatric hospital.

Ahh, the wonders of socialist justice…

The case of Juan Carlos “Panfilo” González has been picked up by a number of pro-democratic groups and bloggers, including Yoani Sanchez. Panfilo has become a symbol of the abuses and oppression of the Cuban dictatorship. There’s a website and a Facebook group. Signatures are being collected on a petition calling on the Cuban regime to free Mr. González.

From the website Jama y Libertad (Food and Freedom):

“We need food—we’re starving! This is Panfilo from Cuba telling you: food!” For saying these words on a Havana street, the Cuban citizen Juan Carlos González, “Pánfilo”, is serving two years in prison.

“Jama!,” food in Cuban slang, his insistent cry in an amateur video that is already a YouTube sensation, wasn’t a call to political action, and Juan Carlos González isn’t a dissident, opponent of the regime or human rights activist. He’s a regular guy without much education and no particular social position or agenda, who, after having a few too many drinks, stood in front of a camera to tell it like he saw it. He didn’t advocate social change, civil liberties or human rights. He just dared to exercise one of them.

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