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Yoani Sanchez
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Yoani Sanchez, a University of Havana graduate in philology, emigrated to Switzerland in 2002, to build a new life for herself and her family. Two years later, she decided to return Cuba, promising herself to live there as a free person. Her blog Generation Y is an expression of this promise. Yoani calls her blog ‘an exercise in cowardice’ that allows her to say what is forbidden in the public square. It reaches readers around the world in over twenty languages. Yoani's new book in English, Havana Real, is available here in paperback and Kindle editions.

In November 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, wrote 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." Time magazine listed her as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that "under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech."

She has received much international recognition for her work, including: the Ortega y Gasset Prize, Spain’s highest award for digital journalism; the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University; the World Press Freedom Hero Award from the International Press Institute; and the Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands. Foreign Policy magazine named her one of the 10 Most Influential Latin American Intellectuals in 2008, and one of The World's Top Dissidents in 2010.

Yoani lives with her husband, independent journalist Reinaldo Escobar, and their teenage son Teo, in a high rise apartment in Havana, overlooking Revolution Square. There they host the “Blogger Academy” to help grow the Cuban blogosphere; some of the results of this work are available in English at Translating Cuba. She blogs about daily life in the Castros' Cuba at Generation Y.

Entries by Yoani Sanchez

After 40 Years of Working, Keeping Body and Soul Together Selling Plastic Bags

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 6:44 PM

Selling 'jabitas' (plastic bags) in front of an agricultural market in Havana. (Luz Escobar)
Selling 'jabitas' (plastic bags) in front of an agricultural market in Havana. (Luz Escobar)

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 28 August 2014 - "I need some dark...

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Cuba's Official Press: Triumphalism, Blacklisting and Censorship

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 9:13 AM

News kiosk (Luz Escobar)
News kiosk (Luz Escobar)

14YMEDIO, Havana, Yoani Sanchez, 22 August 2014 - The phone rings and it's a friend who works for a government publication. She's content because she's published an article that attacks bureaucracy and...

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A Caricature of a Cuban Woman

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2014 | 3:24 AM

Woman drinking (14ymedio)
Woman drinking (14ymedio)

14yMEDIO, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 22 August 2014 -- A woman on national television said that her husband "helps" her with some household chores. To many, the phrase may sound like the highest aspiration of every woman. Another...

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Google Chrome Becomes 'Legal' in Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 3:25 PM

Logo-Google_CYMIMA20140821_0003_13

Yesterday, the giant Google authorized the download of their well-known browser Chrome by Cuban internauts. The announcement came just two months after several of the American company's executives visited Havana and saw for themselves the problems...

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Dengue Fever and Tall Stories for Children

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 7:31 PM

Leaks like this foster the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries dengue fever. (14ymedio)
Leaks like this foster the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries dengue fever. (14ymedio)

Explaining death to a child is always a difficult...

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Gold Fever Hits Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 7:09 PM

Panning for gold (14ymedio)
Panning for gold

14YMEDIO, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 13 August 2014 - Evening falls and the sound of the sieves in the rolling hills trails off. The three men collect their belongings. They've finished the first day...

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'Calling Us Communists Makes Us Look Bad'

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 5:37 PM

or objectivity.'"]" width="584" height="329" /> Big Brother stands as judge of journalistic "objectivity." [The text says that CPI can temporarily...

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My Mother and the Onions

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 9:17 PM

Onion seller (14ymedio)
Onion seller (14ymedio)

14YMEDIO, Yoani Sanchez, 6 August 2014 - Who do I think about when I write? How does the reader imagine my texts come to me? Who do I want to shake up, move, reach......

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The Maleconazo and the Rafter Crisis in a Can of Condensed Milk

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 4:07 PM

2014-08-05-1000472_474759539275644_1332749336_n.jpg
Photo: Karl Poort, 5 August 1994

We had run around together in our Cayo Hueso neighborhood. His family put up several cardboard boxes in vacant lot near Zanja Street, similar to those they'd had in Palmarito del Cauto. His last name was Maceo and...

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Once a Rafter, Always a Rafter: Iliana Hernandez Runs for Her Life

(4) Comments | Posted August 3, 2014 | 6:52 PM

Iliana Hernandez
Iliana Hernandez

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, 1 August 2014 - A Cuban balsera, a rafter, has set herself a new challenge. This time it's not about escaping Cuban on a fragile craft, but rather crossing the Sahara desert.

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No Protests on the Streets of Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 4:33 PM

Protestors in the streets of Vienna (Luz Escobar)
Protestors in the streets of Vienna (Luz Escobar)

A friend sent me photos of a demonstration in the streets of Vienna in support of the Palestinians. I also received--from all over the...

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Cuba's Football Hangover

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 10:45 PM

The World Cup on Cuban TV (14ymedio)
The World Cup 2014 on Cuban TV (14ymedio)

Gone is the last game, the German goal, Götze's hands raising the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Gone are the get togethers with friends, wrapped in...

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Putin In Havana, Seeking an Ally or a Satellite?

(4) Comments | Posted July 12, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Putin and Raul Castro together on Cuban television. (14ymedio)
Putin and Raul Castro together on Cuban television. (14ymedio)
"These are the last sweets!" The cry could be the simple proclamation of a candy seller, but I heard it 23 years...
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Is Cuba Already in Transition?

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 9:37 PM

Seminario-transiciAn-espaAola-Madrid_CYMIMA20140709_0006_13

Yoani Sánchez, Madrid, 9 July 2014 - Right now I am taking part, along with several Cuban activists, in a seminar on the Spanish transition being held in Madrid. Organized by the Association of Ibero-Americans for Freedom and...

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'It's Hell Out There... But Paradise Here in Cuba'

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 3:42 PM

Havana, 3 July 2014 -- Yesterday on the bus, with the summer heat and after the long wait at the stop, two men commented loudly on their annoyance. "This sure doesn't happen in Cyprus!" one said to the other, and laughter rang out all over the bus. He was referring...

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'Falling Into the Abyss of Nothingness...'

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 5:07 PM

I remember him well, leaning over the table with head bowed and a vacant look. Carlitos was barely 20 and his every gesture carried the reluctance of someone who had lived too much. The young man ended up emigrating -- like so many others -- and I suppose there is...

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Google Comes to Havana!

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2014 | 3:28 PM

Google_CYMIMA20140628_0010_18
Have you ever tried to explain Google to someone who doesn't know what it is? This happened to me a few days ago with a neighbor girl, barely 10, who asked me, "What's a search engine?" I...

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The Challenges of Finding Work in Today's Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 11:25 AM

Eugenia lost her job of 30 years in an office of the Ministry of Transport. She was left "available," according to the declaration of her bosses, before they offered her a job as a bricklayer. Reluctant to lay bricks and mix mortar, she launched herself on the private market to...

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Marijuana: Cubans Need to Talk About It

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2014 | 9:20 AM

Livio went on a trip and left his friends in charge of the most precious thing in his life. It wasn't a child, or a pet or even one of those home appliances so idolized in Cuba. The "apple of his eye" was a marijuana bush, grown, watered and ready...

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Bullying: A Serious Problem in Cuban Schools

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 12:18 PM

Havana | 20 June 2014 -- Damaris is almost 40 and has several scars on her face. They were made by a 5th grade classmate with a hair clip. They were in the middle of class and a dispute over the ownership of a pen led the opponent to scream,...

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