Yoani Sanchez Launches Virtual Realism in Cuba

with her Generation Y blog

Vincent Morin Aguado

Yoani Sanchez. Photo: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — Carpentier spoke of “magical realism,” just as people had spoken of this earlier in Europe. Similarly, Stalinists defended their grim “socialist realism.” Now, Cuba — a country with restricted internet access for its citizens — is showcasing to the world the island’s most famous blogger who is giving us “virtual realism.”

One day several months ago, when Yoani Sanchez attempted to travel to Bayamo to present herself at the trial of the unhappy car driver Angel Carromero (in the accident where Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero died), I publicly showed solidarity with the journalist because I believed and I believe that it made no sense to prevent her from attending the trial, something completely normal in almost any other country in the world.

The philologist now wanders the world, speaking as if she were the now-forgotten Hassan Perez Casabona (a Communist Youth leader and official of the Battle of Ideas), but in a different ideological sense. She fires bullets without clear direction, hoping to hit some target. With so much shooting — as they say in Cuban streets — she’s sure to hit something.

They speak of courage, “balls” according to some commentators (something which seems to me must be offensive to the young woman). She hasn’t been imprisoned, just subject to short detentions. She’s not missing any toenails, as once happened under the Batista dictatorship, when the majority of the members of the resistance were tortured.

Cuba lives with restricted access to the Internet. Even when Cubans have money to pay the prohibitive cost, the administrative authorities haven’t dared offer the service, considering the risk of free expression too high.

Despite these conditions, the girl Y, speaks directly, hurtfully and publically, without them interfering with her blog, created and transmitted from our country.

It seems, as I said in a previous comment, that times are changing in Cuba. There are the “luckies,” like the cat of what would be the English ALFT. And forgive me if there are any spelling mistakes; I don’t have the ability to try to check this in detail. I lack Internet access. And Let me clarify, as I’ve reiterated, that I don’t believe in soap operas.

For now, in terms of ideas, Yoani Sanchez hasn’t shown me anything.  However I respect her enormous popularity, ease of words and other virtues that God gave her.
—–
Vincent Morin Aguado. [email protected]



15 thoughts on “Yoani Sanchez Launches Virtual Realism in Cuba

  • Vincent Morin Aguado!! Here are some videos/audio recordings of some of the
    things that Yoani Sanchez has been thru! Do I detect some jealousy??

    YOUTUBE: Video when Yoani Sanchez was arrested along with writer Angel
    Santiesteban

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qVo8Kb5c5ic

    YOUTUBE AUDIO: Yoani Sanchez recounts her arrest and how he lost a tooth at
    the hands of the Cuban police
    http://levantamientoencuba.podomatic.com/entry/2012-10-06T12_04_43-07_00

    YOUTUBE AUDIO: Yoani recorded her arrest by the political police dressed as
    civilian! Audio recording of illegal arrest February 24, 2010, in Havana, Cuba,
    the blogger Yoani Sanchez and her sister the day after the death Orlando Zapata
    Tamayo who died from a hunger strike. Grabación audio del arresto ilegal el 24
    de febrero 2010, en La Habana, Cuba, de la bloguera Yoani Sánchez y su hermana
    el día siguiente de la muerte del huelguista de hambre Orlando Zapata
    Tamayo.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV9zZ2gOWBg

    Reply
  • Cubans, culturally, are some of the most pronounced “haters” I have ever encountered. (shhh…don’t tell my wife I said that) For those unfamiliar with this street term, to be a ‘hater’ is to harbor and express envy of someone else’s good fortune in a negative way. If a Cuban gets a new flat-screen TV sent from family abroad, a neighbor will say that it is because the family member living abroad was a prostitute so they were able to meet a foreigner. If a Cuban gets a promotion, their co-worker says it is because they kissed the boss’s arse to get it. CDRs exist because of Cubans propensity to tell on each other out of envy. Why can’t Vincent just be happy for Yoani’s success? Her international fame and, some say fortune, is not without significant sacrifice and risk. Who doubts that her telephone is bugged and that her email account is monitored constantly. There is a G2 State Security team assigned to watch her 24 hours a day. Who wants to live like that? She should be criticized like any other public figure, but why can’t the criticism be limited to the inaccuracy of her blogs or public statements. Why do people criticize how she looks, or how much money she earns? Is Castro any less a dictator because Yoani earns a lot of money (by Cuban standards)? Are buildings falling down in Havana any less if she meets with a head of state or not? Like her or not, Yoani is a part of Cuba’s new reality.

    Reply
  • Humbert: Sanchez says a lot. Personally it has become very difficult for me to believe anytging she says. But that`s another story.And to Vincent: sure there is limited access to the internet, you can go to ETECSA or in hotels, which is pretty costy for a Cuban. The more I wonder that Sanchez got unlimeted access.How come? Going to Bayamo. Whay. She is a journalist? Since when? Come on, sure its her right to go wherever she wants, but in this case she was expecting to provoke something.That`s her basic goal anyways, provoking scandals so Cuba would get negative headlines.She would do anything to wreck the image of the country, even the positive thing there are ( which of course she never mentions).

    Reply
    • You don’t know what you are talking about. Can you name even one scandal she has provoked or a negative headline she has made appear? Does Yoani somehow cause the Cuban police to beat up Las Damas de Blanco? Was it Yoani who spread cholera around the island?

      Why do you, as an Austrian, feel such personal animus toward a small Cuban woman who writes short poignant essays about her life in Cuba?

      Yoani does not have unlimited access to the internet. She writes her short essays and then emails them, maybe once a week, to the editor of http://www.desdecuba.com in Spain. The Spanish editors maintain the website which hosts the blogs of dozens of Cuban writers. Yoani is but one of them.

      I encourage you to visit the website and actually read the many and varied writers there. Who knows? You might even learn something.

      Reply
    • Friedrich, your comments are terribly inaccurate. Yoani, through her blog, frequently writes of her very limited access to the internet. As a blogger, she chooses to behave in the role of independent journalist. YOU nor the government of Cuba have the right to determine who these independent journalists are, hence the term ‘independent’. I believe her goal is to IMPROVE Cuba, not wreck it. Of course, if you are among those who like things to stay the way they are, any change, even for the better would be unwelcome.

      Reply
      • Yoani is often misguided and while attempting to tell the world her version of what goes on here she fails
        Not only is she not a threat she is not important and she shows me nothing nor many other Cubans as well We know her and if the Adm wanted to get rid of her they would She is no one to fear but she is a narcissist

        Reply
        • If she is ‘often’ misguided, please share one example. Since she is telling the world “her version”, how does she fail? If she is no threat, why are her emails monitored and her home under constant surveillance. Why do the Castros spend so much time and effort to thwart her message. How does being a narcissist apply to your dislike of her?

          Reply
        • So if Yoani is not a threat nor important! Why does the Castro “government” keeps putting her on national TV defaming her but not allow her to esplain or defend herself on TV, Radio or Print?

          Reply
        • Oh the irony! A critic of Emperor Fidel is called a narcissist…
          I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

          Reply
  • An interview that reveals who Yoani Sanchez is – shallow and severely misinformed and NOT a legitimate dissident: http://internalreform.blogspot.com/2010/04/yoani-sanchez-interviewed-by-salim.html

    and smart New Yorkers wouldn’t let Yoani get away with a lie, the so called
    “moderator” wouldn’t let the audience call her on her lie and
    right-wingers got violent with those audience members who opposed Yoani,
    one protester saying “why can’t she (the protestor) be a dissident
    here?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoOLUX9CLtU

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Faraone!! The “protesters” were there to disrupt the event, is very easy to see! If you want to really protest, go outside and do your thing.

      Reply
      • They weren’t there to protest the event. They were there to listen and to correct, which one member of the audience tried to do but was shut down by loud and very aggressive audience members.

        Reply
  • Yeah Griffin, Moses: any fart an shit in the US doesn`t go around , does it? When its up to Cuba it is. So tell mne the reason why? How many people get beaten up by police in the US, in the EU daily, in prisons etc. even in my own country. So were are all you glorious defenders of human rights? But as long as it gets against >Cuba it makes the tour of the world and its fine. God, what a fucking hypocrits you are. About the same way as this OUr Lady of the Cobra.There are other “dissidents”, honestly working for changes in the country, without meeting Aguirres, Lehtinens, Bajart-Diazes and other people being very well reputaded of being the fiercest enemies of Cuba. It was our Virgen of the Dolarios herself who disqualified herself of having any credibility. And I think its just a shameless dare of you to insinuate I were against changes. But I less right winged indoctrinated as you two. That´s the point. Because so far you haven`t produced anything but cynical comments and fill the pages with it, and anybody who does not share your not even criticalbut hostile comment is already an enemy of changes. Who are you, with your arrogance to define what has to be changed.? Who are you to comment every effort of the latest reforms just with mockery and derision? Where is there any positive statement on Cuba? And then you have the dare to stat that I would rather see Cuba going down the drain. Now, maybe one day it`ll dawn to you that you just represent that kind of American arrogance that no one can`t stand all around the world.

    Reply
    • If I were from Switzerland and I felt as I do about the lack of democracy in Cuba, would you accuse me of Swiss arrogance? If meeting with the extreme right in Miami disqualifies Yoani as a “true dissident”, does the same rule apply to US government officials in meeting with the extreme left in Cuba? Your loyalty to the Castro dictatorship is obvious. Your justification for supporting these tyrants is baseless and inaccurate.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day
Picture 1 of 1

Vedado, Havana, Cuba. By Arlene Greaves (Trinidad and Tobago). Camera: Nikon D3300

Submit your pictures to our Photo of the Day section
You don’t have to be a professional photographer, just send an image (in black and white or color), with a photo caption indicating where it was taken (city and country), type of camera or cell you used, and a small description about it.
Note: it is better for our format if you send horizontal orientation pictures. Even square will work but vertical is a problem.
Send your picture with your name and birth country, or where you reside, to this email address: [email protected]