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.