Lessons from biology

inmigracion_y_extranjeria-copyBypass machines that disconnect, the cries of babies that echo. Stamps that mark papers to deny and condemn; kilobytes that carry my voice on the Internet without my needing to move. Someone who frowns at me while talking on the walkie-talkie of control. A bird called Twitter who raises me up with his feet. Offices with uniformed people who confirm, “You may not travel at this time,” although I am already thousands of kilometers from here, in this virtual world that they cannot understand nor fence in.


41 thoughts on “Lessons from biology

  1. Joe:
    I think I understand what you are saying, you come thru loud & clear …
    I think you judged my saying wrongly & I apologize for not coming accross more clearly.
    The price of freedom … please pause & think … before you judge me.
    The end does NOT justify the means … that’s why choices are made …
    I admire & repect you passion.

  2. Hi albert ain’t funny who know to writte are the intelectual, dummy lml. But what make the diference is who have the courage. To survive is imperative not a choice, freedom ain’t free as beer. Homeland is that your work for, not that were you born in.

  3. Isn’t it funny that the ones who “know” what the pueblo needs is (almost always) the intellectuals with a dream ?
    The ones that have to go thru life suffering the consecuences of this people’s actions and decisions are the ones with the patience, the courage to survive with privations… el pueblo always survives.
    Keep at it!!! the victory is not the goal.
    Victory is for the fools, false martyrs and thugs dead or alive still rule.
    Change is for the pueblo, hope Is for the people!

  4. Gabe:

    I’m sorry, but I just read your message today.

    Yes, I know a lot about Cuba, I was born in Havana, but I left Cuba in 1985, that is why I did not see the Maleconazo or the Special Period,,,thanks God!!!!!.

    Anyways, since 1959, and after been there under the communist conditions for 26 years is enough to know “almost anything” about that cruel and sanguinary system, in other words, after I left Cuba, I can image anything else!!!!!,,,then, with regard to Cuba under Castro, you don’t need to be a Julius Verne to forecast the future,,,,there is just a group of words capable to classify it : cruelty, repression, no freedom, dictatorship, tyranny, thing like that!!!!

    Best regards


  5. yoani , you are an inspiration to millions ,In req to your questioning the worker at the gov office as to why you cant leave , with your words you will put an end to the hipocrisy of certain people that work for these institutions, knowing full well that the policies that they are carrying thru are wrong , how could they live with their concious. I guess they have become imune and after enough time they are like robots , just doing their job without raising questions , out of fear . It might be a far fetched comparison , but to me its like all those people that knew that jews were being rounded up and taken to concentration camps during the war , and no one did anything to stop the horrors that were being committed out of fear .

  6. Felicitaciones Yoani por el merecido honor que se te ha sido otorgado.
    Admiro tu coraje, tenacidad y fortaleza. Tú le das voz al pueblo amordazado de Cuba.
    Espero que tu ardor espiritual, ya sea trasmitido en tu prosa o tus acciones, logre convencer a muchos de esos que ideológicamente ciegos ambulan por el mundo elogiando y glorificando la cruel dictadura que oprime al pueblo cubano.
    Es realmente triste la falta de conocimiento de muchos en cuento a la historia del pueblo cubano. La maquinaria propagandística del régimen Castrista así como la de sus aduladores ha tenido su planeado impacto.
    Nuestros ‘hermanos’ latinoamericanos tratan de identificar la sociedad cubana pre-castrista con los abusos o el subdesarrollo que pueda existir en sus propios países u otros países del tercer mundo. Desconocen por completo la verdadera anécdota de la revolución cubana, sus origines, sus progenitores y sus detractores.
    Embaucados han sido tanto en cuanto al desarrollo económico y el estado general de la República de Cuba antes de la supuesta emancipación como en cuanto a los supuestos logros socioeconómicos del régimen castrista.
    Ha sido mi experiencia que aun siendo presentados los hechos con irrefutables pruebas, estos sonámbulos continúan obstinados y arraigados a la visión utópica que enmascara la desgracia del cubano. “Educación y atención médica gratis” repiten como letanía religiosa sin cuestionar la efectividad, calidad y costo no monetario de las mismas, netamente ingenuos a las desigualdades de tales servicios hacia los diferentes estratos políticos de un sistema ‘socialista’.
    En vez de aprender de las vicisitudes del pueblo de Cuba, desprender el vendaje de sus ojos e inteligentemente eligir sus futuros líderes, añoran, gritan y exigen se les aplique el mismo yugo.
    Como haya escrito el apóstol cubano José Marti: “La ignorancia es la esclavitud de los pueblos”.

  7. Yoani,

    The more “The Cuban Goverment” says NO the stronger you get and THE HYPOCRICY IS REVEALED!

    NY TIMES ARTICLE:Yoani Sánchez: Virtually Outspoken in Cuba

    “Internet access is tightly limited in Cuba, and Ms. Sánchez has often had to play cat-and-mouse with the authorities to make her writings available, either inside Cuba or outside of it. And when the Cabot awards were announced, she was denied an exit visa to travel to New York to receive hers, a process she chronicled on her blog.”


  8. Hola Yoani: Congratulations on your award. Your spirit and tenacity, your ardor for freedom rings like a bell across the waves of the Caribean and the Gulf of Mexico.

    My ancestors fled Russia in 1918 due to their realization that the “revolution” was going to be repressive and tyrannical. The world needs to awaken to this cancer of autocracy that incarcerates its own citizens within its borders for fear of the exposure of its failed system, instead of acknowledging that the system is a failure.

    My wife teaches Spanish at our local high school and I’m hoping some of her students will become visiters to your blog. You are a courageously brave person. Thank you for your sacrifice and your devotion to the true Cuba!

  9. Estimada Yoani: Acabo de ver el video “Speaking my mind”…tengo que felicitarte por tu valentia, tu coraje…la forma en que enfocas el gravisimo problema por el que atraviesa nuestra patria…yo no se si como tu lo podre ver…soy mucho mayor que tu…pero espero que tu y tus hijos si lo puedan ver…hacia falta muchas mas Yoanis en Cuba, pero por ahora la que tenemos vale por un ciento…mucha suerte…

  10. Hola Yoani, no logro encontrar palabras adecuadas para expresar el impacto que me causo tu demostracion del valor civico que corresponde a cada cubano para defender los derechos cuidadanos ante los injustos y autocraticos dictamenes de la oficina de inmmigracion. Tu coraje es digno de admiracion, apoyo y emulacion por todos los cubanos, fuera y dentro de la isla, y todos los que desean ser libres.

  11. Hi Yoani, congrats on your well deserved award and the many more that don’t need to be annouced. It is incredible to me that here in year 2009 there is still a country in the world that does this to their citizens. The freedom to go and come back to your home whenever you want. The freedom to meet friends across the borders, to touch snow, to climb the mountains in Chile, to smell the different food smells of our Latino America. Well said when you mentioned that Cuba is a virtual jail where no one that doesn’t follow this regime is allowed to leave. I still think about the country that give me life, Venezuela, and think, people need to learn through suffering what they got themseleves into by electing Chavez as a President, but looking at this video I feel they would just need to watch it and see fastforward their future to what it will be like as time goes on. Keep up your battle, this is the battle of every Latino that believes in freedom and desires to touch for once the dirt across their borders. DD from Canada.

  12. I am reposting the previous post under the name of Anónimo, under my name. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    For the fourth time in a row Yoani is denied permission to travel abroad by the Castro brother’s regime. Congratulations on your award from Columbia. Keep up the good work you are doing. The word can not be silenced and it’s spreading all around.

  13. For the fourth time in a row Yoani is denied permission to travel abroad by the Castro brother’s regime. Congratulations on your award from Columbia. Keep up the good work you are doing. The word can not be silenced and it’s spreading all around.

  14. 24
    Octubre 15th, 2009 at 21:15
    ………But some of the things the Revolution introduced should be kept. For example, free education and health………
    Dear Rodolfo, Cuba had a free and well developed health care system and educational system long before Castro. We had a welfare system superior to many European countries before Castro….. we was a socialist country despite many of us didn’t know that because we didn’t call it socialism……. Castro only used the excuse of fighting Batista dictatorship to rise its own dictatorship and make believe the rest of the world he was the one who made health and education free in Cuba.

  15. Hola Yonai,
    Muchos saludos desde los Estados Unidos continentales de un hermano Boricua, y graduado de la Universidad de Columbia en Nueva York. Nunca le he prestado mucha atención a la comunidad bloguera hasta muy reciente, y fue precisamente ayer que vi un reportaje en Univisión de tu jornada en Cuba y decidí que iba a intentar de comunicarme contigo. Desde mi infancia he sentido el dolor de la comunidad Cubana por la historia, los vínculos culturales y la sangre de hermano que nos une como ciudadanos del Caribe y el mundo desde que el experimento entre el taíno, el español y el africano se dio hacen más de quinientos años atrás. No hay duda que lo que haces requiere gran valentía y por eso rezo que siempre estés bendecida y acompañada por los ángeles del bien, y por el espíritu del luchar por un nuevo mañana. Tu y yo como todos nuestros hermanos de Cuba y Puerto Rico somos de un “pájaro las dos alas” y nos sentiremos siempre en solidaridad con nuestra familia que quedo al otro lado pero esperanzado siempre por la reunión familiar que por años se ha pospuesto.

  16. For records sake::the revolution did NOT create the health care system in Cuba. Cuba in the early 50’s had advanced medical clinics that provided better health care there than found today… The health care system in Cuba is a joke, the doctors are on missions in Venezuela and local clinics are void of staff.

  17. Rodolfo — I enjoyed your comment. Cuba of course is a complicated situation because of the politics and forced exile of so many Cubans. I read an interesting comment recently, perhaps it was reported on the blogsite Penultimos Dias, perhaps somewhere else. It was quoting someone in Miami saying that the Cuba known by the people that came over in the first years after the revolution is gone forever, and that the Cubans coming now are a different people. Of course they attribute this to the communist dictatorship and how it has destroyed the country (and, they believe, the people)… and there is no doubt much of that is true.

    But I was hosting some exchange students from Europe once and they went to a community in my city where people from their country lived, still spoke the language, ate the foods, everything. And they told me later it was very strange to them. That even the young people spoke their language as if they were living 50 or more years ago. They said the teenagers used the same expressions as their grandparents back home… that the culture hadn’t changed, hadn’t modernized, and that it was like going back in time for them.

    Yes, Cuba has suffered for 50 years as a totalitarian state, but it would have changed tremendously in those 50 years regardless… certainly in other ways, I am sure, if it had been a free country all that time. But the people who leave a place and go back after 50 years… or even when I go to places I grew up or lived in even a couple decades ago, they have all changed completely from what I knew.

    And I think if you look closely at Yoani’s blog and the work she and others are doing to grow the Cuban blogosphere, and work to create a civil society… you will see she is doing exactly as you suggest. Building from within.

    Thanks again for your comments… it’s nice to see so many new ‘faces’ on the blog today!

  18. Yoani,
    I know that you feel as if you are in jail. But I still hold to the belief of a previous comment that I posted on your blog some months back. Poverty is the same everywhere. I grew up poor in El Salvador. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had no advantages. I couldn’t have traveled even if had wanted to because my family had no money. So dreaming was the only way. Eventually, I was able to progress in life and leave my home. It was before the civil war. I came to the U.S. and was able to attend college and learn much about the world we live in. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have an opportunity to travel or voice your opinion. But I think you’re inviting the wrong kind of people to your cause. There are those who post comments on your blog, who only focus on Fidel and Raul and their hatred for them. Why not focus on the people who don’t have food and the bare necessities? Those are the ones we should all be focusing on. Because governments everywhere are abusing their citizens. That’s not only a Cuban problem. Dissatisfaction occurs in every state. If you were to visit some Latin American countries, which I have, you would find that it looks very similar to Cuba. There’s still a lack of construction and an overall sense of modernity, as opposed to more developed countries. But that is the legacy we all share from the time of colonization. In other words, “Estamos todos jodidos!”

    I implore you to find a way to build from within. Changes need to be made in Cuba. But some of the things the Revolution introduced should be kept. For example, free education and health. I believe in a “socialist democracy” as it exists in many Scandanavian countries. The freedom you long for exists there, but the governments takes care of their people. The thing I would hate, is if Cuba becomes another Capitalist state that only seeks profit and neglects its people. Though, I know you believe it has already done so. But that is why you and people like you should work toward creating a more perfect state. But be careful that you don’t invite those who want to “own” the island and not help it.

  19. Yoani:

    Congratulations on winning the price. Even though you can’t travel to claim it, you are spiritually and intellectually free from the chains and guilt the dynasty tried to impose on you. This something you and each and everyone of us who admire your literary skills and courage should be thankful for.

    See you here in someday soon in El Malecon at the freedom party.

  20. Candido:

    You seem to have some extensive knowledge of Cuban trivia and history. I am presuming you lived in Havana during the special period. This is going to sound like an odd question, but I wondering if you (or anyone else reading this post) have some information regarding the Maleconazo on August 5, 1994. What I want to know is, if anyone remembers the name of the soap opera (novella) that was playing the night before (on August 4th), when there was a blackout in that part of la Habana?


  21. Flaca,

    The more they deny you travel the more the veil of denial in the international community begins to lift. Felicidades!

  22. It’s just incompetency, not inability – as you can see in China or Iran, the Net can easily be monitored and chosen communication intercepted. Just the Cuban leaders aren’t capable of getting the right people :-) Luckily for you to publish and for us to read :-)

  23. I am very impressed with your ability to write! You are a poet beyond measure – please keep the faith alive – whatever faith that may be! Your fellow blogger. There are few lights in the world so bright and so clear.

  24. I am very impressed with your ability to write! You are a poet beyond measure – please keep the faith alive – whatever faith that may be! Your fellow blogger.

  25. Cabronsito:

    Did you know, that, since the 70s the Central Planning Board (the company which plans the national economy, called JUCEPLAN) witnessed a million times the brutal anger of the Murderer in Chief Fidel Castro, when ever he wanted to approve or disapprove any project, simply said a bad word in high voice and hit with his fist on the table in front of everyone?, then, from that time on, scared to death the present persons there, said yes or not and followed the indications of the old murderer.

    Among these “pataletas” was a lot of times, the program to increase the production capacities of cement “, which was rejected thousands of times by the dictator, according to his will that day.

    Do you know, that, the murderer in chief, among other programs, for example, wanted?:

    -To build a new iron and steel siderurgy with haltes oven?

    -To build a base for ships supertankers in each province, many of which had just begun to build the seaport !!!!!

    -He always opposed the expansion of capacity to industrialize agriculture

    I could draw thousands of examples like that, even, I remember one day in 1988, in front of 8 people, faced Olympic champion Alberto Juantorena (Montreal in 1976), striking his fist on the table and shouted in his face:

    “I do not care if we’re not going to the Olympics in Korea!! So what?

    That is part of our sad history after more than 50 years of cruel repression and everything thanks to the cruelty of “our” sick old Murderer in Chief” Fidel Castro


  26. And best wishes from the UK (where the government has raised no objection to my leaving for Texas on Sunday :-))

  27. i beleive that your government should let you travel an you have a very supoir way of think and you could one day(mabey) become a writer who writes what you see and the way you feel about the way things are being handled in your country whether or not they are fair.:^)

  28. By the way, Claudia Cadelo (Octavo Cerco) has a good commentary on her blog on the same topic.

  29. Congratulations Yoani. Since the awards ceremony is this evening, missing it is bittersweet.

    I just saw a news feature on CNN that included an interview with Yoani talking about the Cabot Prize and the Castro regime’s refusal to let her travel to New York to accept it. While the regime may not like it, their refusal will only increase Yoani’s profile outside Cuba and her credibility within it.

  30. ***
    Good job Yoani! The communist Cuba island is a jail. They can put you in jail there–but your ideas go to all the world.
    Buen trabajo Yoani! La isla de Cuba communista es un carcel. Pueden ponerte en carcel alli–pero sus ideas van a todo el mundo.
    John Bibb

  31. Many congratulations! Such an achievement- I love this quote: “I don’t let these things drive me crazy,” Sanchez said. “I can’t be at the ceremony, but I travel virtually every day. I’ll celebrate it with friends.” Good for you!

  32. You doon’t need prizes to justify your existence, your courage & hope for a tomorrow are suficient.
    It does not matter who is right or wrong … what it matters is where freedom is … in the heart, in the soul … in the mind; no one can control what they can see with their senses … you ARE free …
    Thank you for your reminder to believe …

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