Clipping Castro one blog at a time
Cubans are forbidden to log on, yet Yoani Sanchez's website has made her a subversive star
by Matthew Campell
CUBAN dissidents have found a brave new figurehead in Yoani Sanchez, a blogger whose observations about life in one of the world's last communist bastions have angered the state and made her a global celebrity.
Sanchez, a 33-year-old philologist, has attracted a loyal fan base with her gentle mockery of the regime in Havana, which seems to be at a loss over how to rein in "cyber-space rebels".
"They regard me as an enemy of the state," said Sanchez last week in a telephone interview. "That is because the blogging phenomenon has opened up a crack in government control which is almost impossible to repair."
Although it is read all over the world, Sanchez's blog, Generation Y, is blocked in Cuba. However, like Soviet-era homemade samizdat copies of censored books, it circulates on computer memory sticks and CDs as well as on paper.
"I know that I am being read because people recognise me in the street," said Sanchez, who sometimes has had to pose as a Swiss tourist so as to be able to post her blog on the internet from a Havana hotel. "People come up to me all the time to wish me luck."
The government of Raul Castro, 77-year-old brother of the retired Fidel, accuses her of being part of a "counter-revolutionary" conspiracy. Elsewhere she is regarded as a hero: Time magazine recently named her among the 100 most influential people in the world.
As for the Castro "dynasty", she believes that it has run out of steam. "The Cuban system is like one of those gravity-defying houses in Old Havana," she said. "How does it stay up? Maybe one day they pull a small nail from the door and the house comes tumbling down. In today's Cuba, that small nail could be anything."
Perhaps it will be her.
Copyright 2009 Times Newspapers Ltd.
- ► 2016 (426)
- ► 2015 (1080)
- ► 2014 (1177)
- ► 2013 (1251)
- ► 2012 (1158)
- ► 2011 (1031)
- ► 2010 (1042)
05/17 - 05/24
- The Cuban People's View On Migration
- What If Iran Was The World's Only Nuclear Nation?
- Menendez On Migration
- In My Humble Opinion, Pt. 6
- Migration Policy Background*
- Migration Talks On Deck
- Save What?
- Let The Cyber-Revolution Begin
- Senator Baucus' Trivialized "Facts"
- Petition For Aung San Suu Kyi's Release
- Antunez: A 21st Century Nelson Mandela
- Senator Lugar's Nuanced Stance On The OAS
- Attention Senator Baucus, Protect U.S. Farmers
- Another Serrano Tantrum
- NJ State Assembly: No Normalization With Cuba
- Congressional Dear Colleague
- In The Senate Record
- The 107th Anniversary of the Republic of Cuba
- The Impact Of Tourism In Cuba
- U.S. Cop Killer Remains In Cuba
- Watch Yesterday's Cuba Solidarity Event
- Cuba Continues To Aid Terrorists
- Attention (Again) Senator Shameless
- True Independence For Cuba
- Congressman Meek Offers Antunez Support
- Clinton: No OAS For Castro
- In the Congressional Record
- Congressman Tiahrt On CAMBIO
- Kendrick on Cuban Independence
- In My Humble Opinion, Pt. 5
- Global Cuba Solidarity Movement
- Even Jim Cramer Is Bearish On Havana
- Cuba's Opposition Rejects OAS Efforts
- Cuba Event Tomorrow
- Cuban Church Leader Faces Trial
- Attention Chamber and Farm Bureau!
- Death Toll In Cuba's Prisons
- An Endearing Description
- 50 Years Of A Failed Policy
- The Spirit of Jose Marti
- Cuba Is 91.5 Times More Repressive Than China
- Will The Lights Stay On At the OAS?
- Cuba's Online Superstar
- Reformers From Within?
- The Bipolar Mr. Castro
- Memo to Cargill: Just Wait And See What Castro Has...
- The Day The West Betrayed Democracy
- ▼ 05/17 - 05/24 (47)