Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez was beaten up by yesterday by thugs from the Cuban government. Hopefully, even bloggers outside of Miami will find reason to call attention to this latest abuse by the Cuban government.
I was reading Norman Podhoretz writing about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and could not help but draw the comparison to Ms Sanchez. I do not mean to compare literary talents, which I am uniquely unqualified to attempt, but rather the courage and tenacity to document Communist abuse while still subject to their retributions. The following quotes from Podhoretz’s book made me think that Ms Sanchez could relate more than a little to Solzhenitsyn:
Podhoretz on Solzhenitsyn:
In the Gulag, even on those rare occasions when pen and paper were available, to write was literally to risk one’s life or at the very least to court more severe conditions and longer sentences. Yet even under those circumstances Solzhenitsyn went on writing, in his head if not on paper, and in verse rather than prose because verse was easier to memorize. In eight years he committed tens of thousands of lines to memory, and it was only after his release that he was able to transcribe them and even then only in secret.
Solzhenitsyn quote highlighted by Podhoretz:
… I did not belong to myself alone, that my literary destiny was not just my own, but that of the millions who had not lived to scrawl or gasp or croak the truth about their lot as jail birds … I, who had returned from the world that never gives up on its dead, had no right to swear loyalty to [anything else].
Solzhenitsyn passed away in August of 2008. In my post at the time, I noted that it was wrong of the New York Times to have said nothing of his faith in a 5,800 word obituary. Here is Podhoretz’s opinion on how Solzhenitsyn viewed his own faith:
There can be no doubt that Solzhenitsyn in retrospect has come to view himself as an instrument of the will of God … unbeknownst to himself, he was appointed to rescue from oblivion “the millions done to death” in the Gulag. It was for this purpose that he was sent to the Gulag himself.
* – That really is his name, not some generic Hispanic name I used to hide someone’s identity. See I actually have friends of the blog named Garcia, Perez and Rodriguez. It’s like living in Wichita having your best friends be named Jones, Smith and Taylor. Freaky man.