More on Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez

Vicente Morín Aguado

Yoani Sanchez. Photo:
Yoani Sanchez. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — After reading the numerous comments written in response to my article “Yoani Sanchez Launches Virtual Realism in Cuba”, I must concede that some of the criticisms leveled at a number of ideas in the piece are valid. Nevertheless, I continue to stand by my fundamental concerns and arguments, about which our habitual commentators say nothing, namely:

1- In view of Sanchez’ important individual contribution to the current struggle for greater freedom of expression in Cuba – a right that continues to be curtailed in the country – I again want to pose a very concrete question: What specific contribution to Cuba’s future, to an economic and political vision for the country in the coming years, can the blog Generation Y make? What is Yoani’s proposal?

2- There is an evident and unacknowledged contradiction in the fact that the most popular blogger of our troubled world emerged from a country where Internet access is markedly limited.

Simply attempting to use official servers in Cuba to email journalistic pieces is, in and of itself, a serious issue. These servers are closely monitored and strict regulations apply to all users.

Of course, there are journalists with due authorization to do this, whose articles are sent to sites that have also been reviewed and approved by the pertinent authorities.

Like any Cuban you might run into in the street, struck by an obvious contradiction, I can only say: I’m totally confused! Are we or are we not living in a virtual reality world?

Vicente Morín Aguado: [email protected]



21 thoughts on “More on Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez

  • May 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    “Just tell me with whom you go and I tell you who you are.”

    Like the photo with the fascist Jair Bolsonaro, yeah she’s really ‘progressive’.

  • May 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    You seem confused. On the one hand you blame the US for the lack of internet access in Cuba and in the same comment you write the problem is infrastructure. Which is it? Besides, now that the fiber optic cable from Venezuela is in operation, the US embargo excuse is just stupid. If it is infrastructure, then why isn’t even wireless access near where the cable reaches Cuba high-functioning either? This would be quicker, easier and cheaper to build than burying fiber-optic cable throughout the island. Like I said before, the Castros don’t want Cubans on the WWW period.

  • May 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    The access to the internet indeed is for Cubans difficult to afford yet, as the will have to go to Ectecsa shops or hotels, which is very costy for a Cuban. But still, the problem is in the infrastructure. If Cuba had been allowed to connect to the cable going by more or less off shore, it would have been much further. But I gueess you can imagine how long it will take and how much it will cost, to provide the necessary infrastructure to the majority of people. It is still the question of years, although Cuban presence in the internet is much stronger today than some years ago. Something that bothers the US a lot. And due to the embargo lots of the services can`t be offered in Cuba.

  • May 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    guess it`s one more of your very scientific and objective statements. maybe blame it more on your beloved governments doing everything to avoid Cubas full access to the internet. And, when your are talking bout having enough laptops and smartphones: are you going to pay for them?

  • May 6, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Here is the critical distinction: In most poor third world countries, internet access is largely a function of poverty. That is to say, a lack of computers, high-speed servers and internet infrastructure are the limiting obstacles to greater internet penetration. In Cuba, the greatest obstacle to internet access is the lack of will of the Castro regime to extend universal high-speed access. There are enough laptops and smartphones to dramatically improve Cuba’s ranking in the world. What is lacking is the green light from the Castros.

  • May 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

    While your claim may have been true a few years ago, it is less true today. Many third world countries are making rapid progress in terms of improving internet, wireless and cellular connectivity for average citizens.

    I don’t think this website allows links in reader comments. But credible sources confirming my information are not hard to find. Below is a brief excerpt from the Freedom House 2012 Freedom on the Net report for Cuba: “According to the National Statistics Office, there were 2.6 million internet users in Cuba in 2011, representing 23.2 percent of the population. However, the vast majority of internet users are only able to connect to a government intranet rather than the internet proper. Experts estimate that about 5 percent of Cubans periodically have access to the worldwide web via black market sales of minutes by those permitted to have such accounts.”

    Larry Press allows run a blog called ‘The Internet in Cuba’ with useful information and statistics.

  • May 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Where have I heard these criticisms before? I remember now, EVERYWHERE! You guys should at least be more original. Yoani is indeed a media darling. Why not? She is the perfect mouthpiece for expressing the everyday struggles of life under Castro’s dictatorship. As I have mentioned here on HT before, Castro operatives never address the real issues being discussed. You would rather attack the messengers. Which part of her blog, Generation Y is untrue? What is it that I say in my support for her that is untrue? Defend the food shortages, the power outages and the lack of internet access. Why attack me? My ‘imperialist’ propoganda is not the reason that for the last few days that there has been no toilet paper in Guantanamo and the newspaper Granma is the appropriate substitute. Yoani did not cause that either, the Castros did. Defend the building that collapsed at the corner of Infanta y Peligrino on Saturday in central Havana. I did not cause that, the Castros did. Your tactics are boring and ineffective.

  • May 6, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Where do you get your data from? Have a look at IIASA reports, than you`ll find out that Cuba is not alone. It`s simply a question of being a third world country.

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