Ten Years, A Blog

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Yoani Sanchez received the Ortega y Gasset award for her work on ‘Generation Y’ in 2008, although she was not allowed to leave the country to receive it until five years later (El Pais)

 

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 10 April 2017 — Dawn, the sound of the keyboard marks the beginning of the day. I start a blog that will make me experience the most gratifying and terrible moments of my existence. I go out with the USB stick around my neck, climb the steps of the Havana Capitol and mumble a few phrases to get myself into the place with internet access exclusively for foreigners. It is the 9th of April 2007 and I publish the first text of Generation Y… My life has just taken a turn.

A decade has passed since that scene. A time during which I laid bare, post by post, the events that mark the reality of my country and of my own existence. I have filled the pages of this personal diary and left a testimony of the eventful and intense years I have lived. A digital logbook that could well serve as an impressionist portrait of Cuba at the beginning of this millennium.

There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then. I discovered the immense scope of the written word, the amplifying character of technology, and an authoritarian power’s lack of ethical limits. I owned responsibility for every published phrase and not a few times paid the consequences not for what I said, but for what others believed I said.

I earned a scolding from a severe leader accustomed to hearing only his own voice, I spent more than one night in a jail cell, and I learned to speak in code to evade the microphones placed in my house. I got used to seeing my face in the official media surrounded by the worst adjectives and lost more than one friend. However, the gratifying moments have far surpassed all the punishments this opinion space has brought me.

I watched innumerable voices be born and gain strength, voices that made the Cuban blogosphere a more plural and inclusive space. I met many, like myself, who in their respective countries grabbed ahold of the new digital tools to try to better their societies. I received the support of my family and discovered the profession that I exercise today: journalism.

Each text that has come out in Generation Y shows that personal path, marked by obstacles and gratifications. If I could go back in time I would only amend the moment when I decided to open this blog. I don’t forgive myself for having waited so long to express myself.

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6 thoughts on “Ten Years, A Blog

  1. Thank you for your Blog for the real inside of Cuba. Even with all the tests you have went through..We are praying our country the US don’t try go Cuba’s way. We have read you blog for several years. We are from Indiana

  2. I have been following your blog since my wife and I biked across Cuba 2 years ago. Your courage and outspokenness is so inspiring. One of the great dangers in the world is that so many of us remain silent in the presence of state sponsored injustices. I hope the Cuban people will be able to enjoy freedom and democracy in the near future.

  3. I`’m an observer from outside, and can’t imagine how it is to live in Cuba, but I’ve gotten to know this Greater Carribean Region and about CubaZuela and CastroChavismo and all the leftist regimes of the region.
    I have my own number of years in this context which is 3, when it’s been looking like Venezuela was falling apart. A frustratingly slow and painful train wreck has been going on there, and now it’s the beginning of the end. Ojala the military will remove the inMaduro very soon! My great wish is that the DEA stops the cocaine money from coming in so that the Vzla military won’t get paid and every soldier understands how important it is to stop the madness and save the country.
    CNN en Español, and especially “attack dog” Fernando del Rincon have been doing a stellar job of showing the world the truth about Vzla. Even Camilo – cubano – has been wearing his big boy pants in this context.
    I can understand why North Korea still is what it is because of geopolitics, but Castrista Cuba lost its raison d’etre a quarter century ago. Only the stupid emborgo is keeping the Castro family in power.

  4. I have followed you from Canada for about 3 years, I admire your conviction and courage very much.

  5. I read your book and found of all the books in the library yours was the only one willing to paint a real picture of Cuba. Thank you for your bravery!

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