My Expectations with Havana Times

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES, 16 — I met some writers from Havana Times a little over two years ago. They were intelligent people who had a lot to say and knew how to say it. The online magazine was the medium.

This is a privilege enjoyed by few people on the island if they’re not a part of a government institution; therefore, I found this a very attractive opportunity for communication.

In reading some of the diaries published here, I noticed the strong influence of Cuban politics and culture on those writings. The fluid manner in which they detailed the social concerns of the moment caught my attention, a quality I admired in the writers.

My recent introduction to the magazine was unexpected. My friendship with Irina Echarry — one of the magazine’s writers — opened the doors to this medium of expression. Later, after sending some evaluation articles to its publisher, I was accepted within the Havana Times group.

My expectations? I have a lot. What worries me a little is the heterogeneous nature of Internet users. Nonetheless, I’m anxious to present my experiences as a Cuban university student and as a Cuban woman, without any fears, seeking to present my life situation and my everyday environment.

Being in the fifth year of the art history program at the University of Havana, having the opportunity to write for a mass media outlet is a rarely occurring event.

The magazine Upsalon (produced by my own college of Arts and Letters), the monthly publication Noticias Artecubano, in addition to other publications, had invited students interested in disseminating ideas about art criticism regarding various contemporary exhibitions.

I never responded to them because it seemed like any contribution would be like words blowing in the wind, given the limited social significance these publications possess. On the other hand, Havana Times represented the ideal place to openly share the ideas and experiences that mark my development.

I also believe that the freedom to write openly about our feelings and to be heard at the same time is an experience that makes us grow as human beings. I’m thankful for that.


4 thoughts on “My Expectations with Havana Times

  • hola yanelys, such a pleasure this first day of spring 2012 to write to you. i wish to say how much pleasure and juoy i get from your blogs which fill up a side of me that as a tourist i do not see. it will be so nice to lunch in your city someday soon, i hope in may. keep writing remembering how much i yearn for simle stories of cuban life. bon chance, good luck. ciao

  • Welcome Yanelys. I like the balanced approach of Havana Times which allows honest opinion and perspective about life in Cuba to show through. With all the vitriol and negativity emanating from Miami and all the white washing and propaganda coming out of Havana it is refreshing to have something else to turn to for insights into the Cuban situation. I am confident that you will make a welcome addition to the team and wish all the best in this endevour. Greetings from another Canadian in love with the great nation of people that is Cuba.

  • Ola Yanelys,

    Welcome to HT. I look forward to reading your articles.

    Greetings from Toronto, Canada.

  • Yanelys,

    Forget your hesitance about writing about your thoughts.
    You and all the other Cubans who write for HT perform an invaluable service because HT is (as far as I know) the only source of information available to us in the heart of the beast that comes directly from ordinary Cubans and not from the insane Ros-Lehtinen crowd nor from the everything-is-fine Granma group.

    We, in the States need your voice. We need to hear your everyday problems and know how YOU, as an individual living in Cuba feel about your country, its revolution, society, problems and how all of that relates to the world.

    Each of the many writers at HT contributes his or her little piece of the picture and each piece makes up a mosaic of reality that we seldom get to see in the U.S with its controlled press.


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