Friday, March 20, 2009

Generacion Y

It's Friday and the first day of spring. With a new beginning, I'd like to introduce you to a blog I've recently discovered and can't stop reading ever since. It is honest, riveting, and courageous.

Generacion Y, or Generation Y is a blog created by Yoani Sanchez, a citizen of Cuba who blogs about everyday life on the island, its Castro regime, and the freedom the citizens of Cuba do not have. Sanchez began the blog in 2007 by dressing up as a foreigner/tourist and going into hotels to use their computers and internet. Just as she hid herself in public, she remained anonymous on her blog until one day she posted her name and picture. For this I admire her courage, especially living in a society where going against the Cuban government or uttering the word “Fidel Castro” in public is a ticket to jail.

The blogs name, Generation Y, comes from a trend of baby names given at the time she was born. Throughout the 1970’s - 80’s the trend was to name babies beginning with the letter “Y,” hence Yoani. In her blog she writes about how she is tired of living under the government and rules of Castro. Sanchez goes into great detail of what life is like on the Island, depicting the rights of people that are violated by the government, including that of censorship. She addresses the daily struggles of scarce food, jobs taken away from citizens, the rules of Castro, and most importantly that under these rules no one is ever alone nor free.

Eventually word would spread around and her blog is now blocked in the island of Cuba. She manages to update by e-mailing entries to friends living outside of Cuba who then post. It is surprising that until this day she has not been thrown into a jail cell for her courageous acts.

Generacion Y is now translated into 15 languages and received 14 million hits in a single month. Yoani Sanchez has received several awards for her blog, including a spot in Time’s New Magazine list of 100 most influential people of 2008.

Her blog is addicting, honest, funny, poetic, moving, and most importantly heroic. I was not born in Cuba, nor have I ever visited the island but I come from a Cuban family that have shared their stories with me. Stories of family owned grocery markets and property that were all taken away from them, specifically human rights. Sure I get tired of hearing my father go on about how "when Cuba is free everyone will return" and how it's this or that and the Cuban talk shows. If no one has changed it thus far it will possibly remain the same for decades. What I do know, is that change has to start somewhere, and Yoani and her blog are helping define it.


Alejandro said...

I've heard of this person before but I’m not sure she is so heroic. The government already knows about her and is obviously aware of what she does and what she writes about. Yes, the writing is interesting and does give you an "inside view" of the island. But heroic and brave I think not. If they wanted to shut her up they would've already. I mean come on she's ever writing a monthly column in the magazine PODER enterprise Miami. I don't know seems fishy to me.

Jessica said...

She's been mentioned all over Miami. Cuban t.v./radio shows, magazines, in the Cuban anti-Fidel community and I don't think that these people would give such praise to someone that was communist. More so, Cuban talk shows that interview ex-communist who have worked directly with the Cuban goverment, Cuban citizens, etc and are very against the Castro Cuba of today and are for a free island. It would be a slap to the face of the Cuban population down in Miami.
You might have a point in saying she isn't heroic but for you to say she isn't brave is undermining what she and other Cuban bloggers are doing. People are scared to talk against the government and utter Fidel's name in public, let alone even over the phone for fear of being thrown in jail and stamped "political prisoner" as many in Cuba and family members of mine have been labeled.
I understand that some people, like yourself, see another side to this and think it is all planned to make Raul look more lenient and I agree it is great propaganda. But I think if they wanted positive advertisement, they would not be bashing Fidel, Raul, and government. Although, this is all part of the plan to be able to bash them with out being censored you might say? As it is the very thing being banned from everyone, then why ban the desdecuba portal and her blog to all of the cuban island?

Alejandro said...

You are making my point "thrown in jail" she has definitely done more than utter fidel's name and is far from jail. She seems to be doing just fine living in a pretty nice house with air conditioning and lush furniture! Just the fact that she has “acted like a tourist” to gain access to a computer would suggest that her clothing (and dental hygiene) are pretty good. In my opinion it seems very suspicious.

Jessica said...

Yeah, Alex, because anyone with family and friends in the U.S. gets money given to them and sent to them which is used for good furniture, clothes, etc. Don't you think she probably receives clothes and other materials from family? Not only that but she dresses as a tourist by wearing bathing suit shorts, hats, and she states she gets confused for a teenager.
And the only way she is able to update is by emailing her friends out of Cuba and they are the one's that post. Even the portal desdecuba is blocked. If things are banned from the public then they are not reading what is being said against the Cuban government, which is not moving them to speak against cuban government in public, hence not causing public corruption.

If indeed she is working with Raul, eventually time will tell before she is exposed.