Yoani Sánchez, born in Havana, 1975.
I studied for two terms at the Pedagogical Institute, majoring in Spanish Literature. In 1995, I moved to the Faculty of Arts of Letters, and after five years finished a degree in Hispanic Philology. I majored in contemporary Latin American Literature, presenting an incendiary thesis entitled, “Words Under Pressure: A Study of the Literature of the Dictatorship in Latin America.” On finishing at the University I realized two things: first, that the world of the intellectual and high culture is repugnant to me and, most painfully, that I no longer wanted to be a philologist.
In September 2000, I went to work in a dark office at Gente Nueva publisher, meanwhile arriving at the conviction—shared by most Cubans—that with the wages I earned legally I could not support my family. So, without concluding my social service, I asked to be let go and dedicated myself to the better-paid labor of freelance Spanish teacher for German tourists visiting Havana. It was a time (which continues today) when engineers preferred to drive a taxi, teachers would do almost anything to get a job at the desk of a hotel, and at store counters you could find a neurosurgeon or nuclear physicist. In 2002, disenchantment and economic suffocation led me to emigrate to Switzerland, from where I returned—for family reasons and against the advice of friends and acquaintances—in the summer of 2004.
In those years I discovered the profession I continue to practice today: computer science. I discovered that binary code is more transparent than affected intellectualism, and that if I’d never really come to terms with Latin, at least I could work with the long chains of HTML language. In 2004 I founded, with a group of Cubans all based on the Island, Consenso, a magazine of reflection and debate. Three years later I work as a web master, columnist, and editor of the site Desde Cuba [From Cuba].
In April 2007, I entangled myself in the adventure of having a blog called Generation Y that I have defined as “an exercise in cowardice” which lets me say, in this space, what is forbidden to me in my civic action.
To my surprise, this personal therapy earned me, in a short time, the attention of thousands of people around the world. Thanks to the virtual citizens’ network that has woven itself around GY, I have been able to update this blog every week. Since March 2008, the Cuban government has enforced a computer filter that prevents seeing my blog from public Internet sites in Cuba. So I need the solidarity of friends off the Island to post my texts on the web. Thanks also to other volunteer collaborators, Generation Y is translated into fifteen languages.
In May 2008, my personal exorcism also won me the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award in the digital category. I was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in the “Heroes and Pioneers” category, and my blog was included on the list of the 25 Best Blogs in the World issued by Time Magazine/CNN. I won the Jury Prize on the Spanish blog contest, Bitacoras.com, and top honors in the well known blog contest, The BOBs Awards, with more than 12,000 participants from around the world. The weekly magazine of the Spanish newspaper El Pais named the 100 Most Notable Hispanic Americans of 2008 in November of that year; Foreign Policy listed its 10 Most Influential IberoAmerican Intellectuals of 2008 in December; as did the Mexican magazine Gate Pardo. Your humble servant is included in each of these lists. Much more than I could have dreamed of, when I started to combine sentences to upload my first post!
I live in Havana, I opted to stay and every day I am more computer scientist and less philologist.
Yoani has continued to receive international recognition for her work since she wrote this profile. In 2009 she became the first — and so far only — blogger to interview U.S. President Barack Obama, who commented that her blog “provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba.” and applauded her efforts to “empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology.” Also in 2009, she received a special citation for journalistic excellence in Columbia University’s Maria Moor Cabot Awards, was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and Time magazine named Generation Y one of the 25 Best Blogs.
In 2010 she received the World Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute, and the Prince Claus Award from the Prince Claus Foundation in the Netherlands.
“In those years I discovered the profession I continue to practice today: computer science. I discovered that binary code is more transparent than affected intellectualism, and that if I’d never really come to terms with Latin, at least I could work with the long chains of HTML language.” Her journalism is a phony as her claims to being a computer science professional.
HELLO I NEED TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOANI SANCHEZ BECAUSE I HAVE MY BROTHER WHO IS JAILED IN CUBA FOR NO REASONS AND I NEED HELP.
HE TRIED TO KILL HIMSELF IN PRISON TO INFIRM THE WORLD THAT THIS COUNTRY HAS NO HUMAN RIGHTS. NO INVESTIGATIONS WERE DONE AND THERE IS ZERO PROOF OF THEIR ACCUSATIONS. PLEASE HELP US TO SAVE HIS LIFE AND GET HIM FREE FROM THIS HELL COUNTRY. MY NAME IS HAFIDA 00971509128564
I need to make a new icon
Yoani te queremos conocer cuando llegamos a Cuba La semana de Mayo 2. Es posible? Me llamo Lazaro Mi correo es LazPujol@gmail.com
I would like to know your take on the death of Fidelito Castro. How did he kill himself? Why is this not being reported?
Dear Ms. Sanchez.
My name is Joseph Marra. I am a lawyer in Seattle, WA. I just wanted to compliment you on your excellent website and thank you for all the hard work you do for the Cuban people.
God bless you and God bless Cuba.
Your book will be the topic of a book discussion at the College of Southern Maryland’s Prince Frederick campus on April 13th at 6 p.m. If you have any Cuban-American contacts in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area who would like to attend, please have them contact Martha Maratta at email@example.com. Thank you. I would welcome speakers who would be willing to share personal experiences about life in Cuba under Castro’s reign.
If you are interested in topic: ways to earn extra money from home online
– you should read about Bucksflooder first
Hola Sra. Sánchez!
Soy periodista y estudiante de Filadelfia en Los Estados Unidos.
Estoy estudiando ahora en La Universidad de La Habana, y sus obras y artículos me parecen muy increíbles y excelentes. Estoy haciendo un proyecto sobre el arte de las calles y el arte público en La Habana (como artistas como Yulier) y yo sé que Ud. está ocupado, pero me gustaría mucho hablar consigo si es posible. Mi correo electrónico es Angela.firstname.lastname@example.org, o puede alcanzarme en Facebook a Angela Nasuti-Gervasi.
Mentirosa…eres jinetera y to lo sabes!
what you do is great, I admire you very much. I am from Ukraine and I’m writing an article about some aspects of Cuban cultural situation, I would be happy if you gave several comments. Please contact me somehow. Thanks in advance!
Gracias a ti, J.S. Soy “fan” y voy a trattar de sopportarte Tambien leo Tal Cual. Soy artista de New York y tengo hijo de la misma edad que tienes, y mi nurea es de Puerto Rico. Disculpame por desir “ti,” pero pienso que eres mi hija. Gracias por tu dedicacion!
I have been making researchs regarding Cuba, I’m from Nigeria. I would like to get in contact with any recognized hair extension company. want to start buying in bulk. mail me at email@example.com
J’aime CUba. Je l’ai découverte en 2007. Puis 2011 et je rêve d’y retourner. Je ne connais que Cuba touristique et j’aimerai dialoguer avec des cubains. Merci.
I love the people in Cuba. And I love the freedom, because that is very important to be happy. What I hate are totalitarian regimes, religious zealots, misogyny and racism. No matter what country, because some of the previously mentioned are everywhere. You have to prevent them from gaining power. Should this be too late, you have to fight them.
I love Cuba, because it is a socialist, I lived 24 years in socialism (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to r. 1989). I now live 26 years in capitalism. I hate capitalism, hate USA.