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Cuban Dissident Librarians Abandoned by Their American Counterparts (Castro's handmaidens)
The Digital Freedom Network ^ | January 28, 2004 | A. E. Huggett

Posted on 01/28/2004 2:46:33 PM PST by quidnunc

On January 14th, the American Library Association (ALA), which is the world's largest library union, tacitly approved of Fidel Castro's March 2003 arrests and persecution of dissidents when they brushed aside the fate of 14 jailed Cuban Independent Library members, who had copies of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights and George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm in their possession.

Visiting the ALA's San Diego winter meeting was Cuban librarian Gisela Delgado Sablon, whose husband is one of the librarians jailed. Sablon begged the ALA to demand the dissidents' release from their 20-year prison terms and an amendment calling for that action was added to the ALA's task force report. Unfortunately, the amendment, sponsored by ALA council member, Karen Schneider, was rejected by nearly all of her fellow ALA council members. Although normally keen to undermine the Patriot Act or hunt out instances of censorship in American libraries by refusing to install anti-pornography filters in public access computers available to children, the 182 ALA members were not moved by Schneider's comments that Cuban police had not only confiscated the books but burned them too or by Sablon's testimony that many of the jailed librarians were in need of medical treatment.


Former ALA president, John W. Berry, who was one of the final drafters of the ALA's task report, blamed internal political dissent among its members, some of whom refused to see the jailed Cubans as librarians and insisted that they only be considered political dissidents instead. Berry weakly explained it was a, "… contentious issue within our association. Several people felt that it was not our place to go there."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Cuba; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: ala; castro; cubandissidents; sympathizers
Note to Library Association: Ssshhhh!

Not long ago while at the Temecula Library, I stumbled onto a pornographic Web site. I know what you're thinking, but rest assured. I had just typed a few innocuous words into a search engine and then found myself in an X-rated neon-colored cyberworld.

As a former Navy sailor, very little shocks me. What I found so outrageous, though, was the fact that there were kids using these same computers who could easily access similar Web sites.

Even worse was the realization that any criminal sexual predator could also use these computers to view and download pornography. It just goes to show what a sorry state of affairs we are in.

Just think, some creep can surf X-rated Web sites on a library computer terminal next to you, yet you cannot access the California Megan's Law database on a similar library computer to find out if he is a convicted sex offender.

How did things get so upside down?

One big source of the problem is the American Library Association. The ALA fought tooth and nail to prevent government officials from installing anti-pornography filters onto public library computers. Despite last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows public libraries to filter library computers, our local libraries largely continue to follow in lockstep with the misguided ALA.

This is not the only instance when the ALA has lobbied to the detriment of America. The ALA is working hard to undermine the Patriot Act, which was enacted in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The ALA claims an abridgement to free speech if and when federal officials investigate library patrons for ties to terrorism.

The ALA fails to realize that libraries are not deserted islands exempted from criminal laws. If a suspected terrorist is downloading "The Anarchist's Cookbook" or gleaning anthrax recipe books to destabilize our country, then the FBI must have access to these records to maintain the public's safety.


(Rick Reiss [The Californian] in the North County Times, January 20, 2004)
To Read This Article Click Here

1 posted on 01/28/2004 2:46:34 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
The cowardice of the "intellectual elite" is astounding.
2 posted on 01/28/2004 3:04:05 PM PST by gaspar
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To: gaspar
A librarian wrote the Washington Times today that he voted to severely condemn Cuba's imprisonment of the dissidents , but was outvoted by, as he put it, "the Castro lovers" of the ALA.

Don't blame all libarians for the actions of some fanatics.
3 posted on 01/28/2004 3:18:10 PM PST by catonsville
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To: quidnunc
To think at one time I seriously considered a career as a librarian. I can hardly stand to go into a library these days, and as a writer, it's a terrible admission.
4 posted on 01/28/2004 3:18:25 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Free! Read my historical romance novels online at http://Writing.Com/authors/vdavisson)
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To: quidnunc
I stumbled onto a pornographic Web site. I know what you're thinking,

Yes, you do.

I had just typed a few innocuous words into a search engine and then found myself in an X-rated neon-colored cyberworld.

Care to elaborate? I'd like to know what search engine you used and what words you typed in.

5 posted on 01/28/2004 4:06:33 PM PST by DumpsterDiver
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To: DumpsterDiver
Go to and see what you get.

This is something anyone could do looking for the White House site, especially a kid.

6 posted on 01/28/2004 4:26:30 PM PST by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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