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Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez

Posted February 16, 2009 | 07:22 PM (EST)

With Cuban State Security Watching My Every Move, My Poor Neighbors Can't Buy Food


Gratitude and Request

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I don't want to let the days go by and continue the ingratitude of not speaking of the "selfless companions" who monitor the entrance to my building. They, with their disproportionate sacrifice in the last weeks, have managed to limit the acts of vandalism which are so common on these fourteen floors. No one has stolen the clothes from the clothesline; we haven't found any human excrement adorning the stairs; no exhibitionist has shown his member to some startled teenager; the dominoes table that generates so many shouts has been suspended until further notice and even the vagabond dogs have avoided doing their thing down there. All this is thanks to the rotating shifts that two disciplined members of the Ministry of the Interior maintain--to keep an eye on me--in the lobby of my concrete block.

I just wanted, along with my infinite gratitude, to ask them, please, for a little blind eye for the illegal vendors. We live through the same number of days without anyone--not even a distributor of cockroach poison--shouting their wares in our hallways. I feel I'm to blame for the commercial strangulation in which the other 143 apartments are plunged, and I have to do something to relieve them. So, I ask them, these soldiers of MININT lying in wait for their prey--look the other way when it comes to food. This doesn't have to become the siege of Lisbon!

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