Joe Biden Gives Interview to Cuba's First Independent Digital News Site

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A week ago Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez launched 14yMedio, the first independent online media outlet in Cuba. Today it published its first big "get": An interview with Vice President Joe Biden.

The chat follows a 2009 interview President Barack Obama gave to Sanchez that was posted on her blog Generación Y. Biden essentially reiterated many of the previously held positions and answers of his boss, but also called for the release of American prisoner Alan Gross.

Gross, who was working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, was arrested and convicted in 2011 for sneaking satellite communication devices into the island. He continues to sit in Cuban jail, and, according to statements made through his lawyer, he seems disillusioned with the American and Cuban governments.

"I cannot emphasize enough that Cuba's continued detention of Alan Gross is a major impediment to improved relations between the United States and Cuba," Biden said at the very end of the interview.

"We can be as creative as we like with our policy, but Alan's case remains at the top of our list for resolution. He deserves to come home, and should be released on humanitarian grounds."

Biden also took the opportunity to dispel the notion often promoted by the Cuban government that America has imminent plans to invade Cuba and overthrow the Castro regime.

"I can give you the simplest of answers, and that answer is no. Just as President Obama said," he said.

"We support the development of a prosperous, secure and democratic Cuba and continue to support the brave Cubans who seek to exercise their freedoms. Our position is clear: only Cubans can or should determine the future of Cuba. These accusations are a relic of a distant past. They are being used to strike fear into the hearts of decent Cubans to divert your attention from the problems closer to home. The Cuban people deserve more honesty from their government."

Sanchez launched 14yMedio last week as an alternative to the other news outlets on the island, which are controlled by the government. The site was blocked in Cuba shortly after it launched, but as of this week appears to have been unblocked.

Still, access to the Internet is still rare for many Cubans. Many can only access the Internet by using satellite phones and cell phones (like those Gross is accused of providing), though Cuba's state telephone company has announced it will begin offering in-home Internet service sometime this year.

Sanchez's interview with Biden took place in April while she was visiting Washington.

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15 comments
Alex Hernandez
Alex Hernandez

Too bad she's a market fundamentalist right wing nutjob. If you think she is allowed to play the rebel without consequence, you are naive. She is playing her assigned role.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

Independent?

Ha.  Liberal hacks believe anything

catarecibo662
catarecibo662

IT IS VERY NAIVE TO THINK THAT YOANI SANCHEZ, CAN HAVE DIGITAL NEWSPAPER, AND USE IT AGAINST THE CASTRO'S REGIME NEVER THE LESS YOANI ALLOWED TO COME FREELY TO THE UNITED STATES TO PROMOTED EITHER. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO REALIZE THAT CUBA IS A DESTROYED ISLAND STRUCTURALLY AND MORALLY AND THAT CUBA IS NOT WORTH THE NAME IT HAS. WHEN IT COMES TO CUBA WE NEED TO TAKE THE ANGLO-AMERICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN APPROACH; THEY'RE OVER THERE, AND WE'RE OVER HERE. WE HAVEN LOST ANYTHING THERE, AND THEY HAVEN LOST ANYTHING HERE. CUBA SUCKS!  AND YOANI IS A CHAMELEON, THAT IS ALLOWED TO COMES TO OUR COUNTRY TO BRING BACK $$$$$$ TO RAUL CASTRO'S POCKETS!

walterlx
walterlx

Yoani Sanchez's blog was blocked. Then it was unblocked.

Yoani Sanchez's right to travel was restricted. Now it isn't.

Yoani Sanchez's new digital newspaper was blocked for three days. Now it isn't.

Yoani Sanchez allowed Biden to repeat the same old Washington propaganda about Alan Gross, but she failed to ask him why Washington doesn't accept Cuba's invitation to discuss a humanitarian resolution of the problem of Alan Gross. They've made it clear as day they would trade him immediately for the remaining three members of the Cuban Five.

Here is the Cuban government's official position:

excerpt:
The Cuban government reiterates its disposition to seek, in conjunction with the United States government, a solution to the case of Mr. Gross, one which would be acceptable to both parties, which reflects Cuba’s humanitarian concerns related to the case of the three Cubans, from among The Five, who have been unjustly imprisoned in the United States for more than 15 years.

complete:
http://www.granma.cu/idiomas/ingles/cuba-i/9abril-minrex.html

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

If there's an English version of the site, the spelling and grammar are probably better than what you can muster.

hcapiro
hcapiro

@catarecibo662 YOANI WAS REFUSED TRAVEL BY THE CASTROFASCISTS OVER 20 TIMES DEAR!

YOUTUBE: Yoani Sánchez's passport is full, but she still can't leave Cuba / El pasaporte de Yoani Sánchez . Yoani Sánchez has gotten enough foreign visas on her passport to fill every page, and yet she hasn't been able to use any of them to leave Cuba. That's because, despite her having gotten permission from plenty of governments to ENTER other countries (to receive awards, speak at events, and other things), the Cuban regime won't allow her to LEAVE her own. Yoani Sanchez is the author of the blog Generacion Y. Her work has won her numerous awards for journalism and digital media. She's also been named one of the world's 100 most influential people and one of the world's top 25 bloggers by TIME magazine. Turn on CC for English subtitles in YouTube. As mentioned above, I don't own this video, but the original uploader has granted use rights under the Creative Commons Attribution License. I simply uploaded it here to ensure English speakers could get Yoani's message. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDWKa7L6NjQ&feature=player_embedded

hcapiro
hcapiro

@walterlx

WHY WAS THE CUBAN ATTORNEY FOR ALAN GROSS THE SAME ONE WHO REPRESENTED THE "CUBAN 5 SPIES" FAMILY DEAR? ISNT THIS TOO COINDIENTAL DEAR?   THE GUARDIAN UK: State Department asks Cuba to release US contractor on anniversary of arrest  - Alan Gross has reportedly lost 100lbs in three years since being sentenced to prison for his work with island's Jewish community   The attorney who visited Gross in jail, Armanda Nuria Piñero Sierra, was hired as Gross' lawyer and handled his trial and appeals. She also represents the families of five Cubans held in U.S. prisons, after being convicted in 2001 on charges of conspiracy to commit espionage against U.S. military installations, leading to the immediate speculation after Gross' arrest, that Cuba wanted to swap him for the five Cubans.   CLICK LINK FOR ARTICLE!   http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/state-department-cuba-alan-gross

hcapiro
hcapiro

@walterlx WHY HAS THE CUBAN "GOVERNMENT" NOT ALLOWED ANY INTERNATIONAL OR INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST INTERVIEW ALAN GROSS IN ALL THESE 4 YEARS DEAR? WHAT ARE THE CASTRO SO AFRAID OF?

NBC NEWS: American jailed in Cuba wants US to sign 'non-belligerency pact' to speed release - By Michael Isikoff   Kornbluh, who has advocated closer U.S.-Cuba dialogue, was in Havana last week to attend a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. He was granted permission to visit Gross by Cuban officials. (The Cubans so far have denied all news media requests to meet with him.) He said Gross was most upset about being unable to return home to see members of his family who are ill, especially his 90-year-old mother in Texas who has cancer.   http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/02/15620342-american-jailed-in-cuba-wants-us-to-sign-non-belligerency-pact-to-speed-release?lite

hcapiro
hcapiro

OH PLEASE Walter Lippman (walterlx)!! YOUR JOB HAS BEEN SINCE I MET YOU ON YOANI SANCHEZ' BLOG COMMENT SECTION OVER 5 YEARS!! AN ALAN GROSS IS NOT A SPY! AND THERE WERE 14 CUBAN SPIES ON THE WASP NETWORK DEAR!

Five members of a 14-member espionage team called “La Red Avispa” — the Wasp Network — are on trial in a Miami federal courtroom following an exhaustive FBI investigation
After breaking up the network’s operations in September 1998, the FBI amassed some 10,000 pages of information on the Cuban espionage cell. Federal agents discovered that, among other projects, the members of the spy network counted planes outside a military base, attempted to send a letter-bomb to an anti-Castro activist, and placed one of their number — employed as a custodian — at the Boca Chica base of the Southern Command to observe military activity there.  Of the original 14, four fled and are believed to be in Cuba, five pleaded guilty and five have declared their innocence. Those pleading innocent said they were only keeping an eye on the anti-communist Cuban exiles.  Although the ring was engaged in classic acts of espionage, those who pleaded guilty, as well as the defendants standing trial, are not facing charges of spying, but rather are being charged as “unregistered foreign agents.
http://www.wnd.com/2001/01/7761/

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

@walterlx You are such a Piece of Shit.

Alan Gross never hurt nobody. He was entrapped to be used as leverage, in the hopes of getting the spies back.

The Cuban spies are guilty. They admitted it. And they are responsible for the death of 4 human beings that never hurt nobody.


You are a piece of shit. I could tell you a thousand times, especially if it was right in your face. Piece of shit. 


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