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Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez

Posted May 7, 2009 | 11:52 PM (EST)

Tourist Apartheid Returns to Cuba, Hotel Cybercafes Block Access to Citizens


I have gone a couple of days without connecting to the Internet, because a new complication has appeared in the road of alternative bloggers. Several hotels in the country demand, in order to connect to the web, that you prove a life in a place outside the Cuban archipelago. The desk clerks tell me--even though they are just as native as I am--that that blue card will not allow me to dive into the vast World Wide Web. "It's a decision that comes from above," a woman says to me, as if a decision of this type could be taken at a level other than the offices of the government.

I see it will be hard to change myself into a foreigner overnight. So the only thing left is to protest against such a ban and to make public the existence of a new apartheid. I will have to go back in the guise of a tourist, although this time I will have to learn a language as complicated as Hungarian to fool those who sell the access cards. Maybe I can prowl around the hotels, ready to ask the foreigners to buy--for me--this forbidden entrance key, this safe conduct I need "to not be Cuban."

Yoani's blog, Generation Y, can be read here in English translation.