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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

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


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

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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Super Dad

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 12:42 PM

Havana, 15 June 2014 -- Ricardo has raised his two daughters alone. One August morning he woke up and his wife had left. Later he learned she'd been intercepted on the high seas and spent months at the Guantanamo Naval Base before arriving in the United States. At the time,...

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Firing of Catholic Journalists Leaves One Less Thread in Cuba's Social Tapestry

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 12:54 PM

In a country where there are so few spaces for debate, the loss of any one of them is a tragedy. The departure of Roberto Veiga and Lenier Gonzalez from the magazine Lay Space leaves us with even fewer opportunities for debate. Their work was characterized by its willingness to...

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Cold Kisses Under a Tropical Sun

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 1:16 PM

The fear of not being able to leave, of remaining locked on the island, is shared by many of my compatriots. Those who have never traveled fear they will grow old without ever knowing what's on the other side of the sea. Cubans living abroad are not exempt from this...

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The Free Territory of Skype, Forbidden In Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2014 | 7:19 PM

An article has been added to the saga against information technologies maintained by the official press. Last Thursday a report against phone fraud left many Juventude Rebelde (Rebel Youth) readers feeling that cellphones are a source of endless problems. To the barrage of accusations about the destabilizing plans that arrive...

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Miguel's Drone, Cuba From the Air

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 7:03 PM

Nobody knows how he got it into the country, with so many customs restrictions and government paranoia, but Miguel has a drone. Tiny, like a kid's toy, and with a camera. In his spare time, this forty-something Havanan dedicates himself to using his new amusement to explore the nearby patios...

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"What's Your Network Called?": Young People Are Creating The Wireless Web In Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 10:58 PM

They meet on a corner, eyes red from lack of sleep, their pants on the verge of falling down to their knees. They aren't yet twenty and have spent the night immersed in the plot of a video game. Greeting each other they no longer use the popular "qué volá?*"...

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Reaping the Whirlwind: Academic Fraud in Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2014 | 4:33 PM

Today, while I publish this text, thousands of students from Havana are sitting in front of their mathematics exam. The schedule for admission to the University has had to incorporate a new test date for this subject, after a scandalous case of fraud. The leaking and selling of the questions...

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14ymedio Is Born: Now I Can Dream Even Higher

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 1:35 PM

I don't remember the title of the movie, nor the director, nor even if I saw it at a movie theater or on TV. I just remember the scene, a brief moment in which the protagonist takes off his coat and gives it to his friend. He confesses to him...

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A Cuban Insult: 'Ah... You're Not in the Package'

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2014 | 12:36 AM

Climbing into a collective taxi at midday, with its whole body heated by the sun and creaking at every pothole, is a shocking experience. You duck your head and make yourself small to sit on the improvised seats. A loose thread hanging from...

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14ymedio: A New Newspaper Is About To Be Born in Cuba

(3) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 7:07 PM

Yesterday I was arguing with a friend about the importance of journalism in the current Cuban situation. He wanted to convince me to join his opposition party and I reminded him that a reporter should not have...

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