Slender, dark-haired, Yoani Sanchez walks the streets of Havana. Passing into and through the shadows of the Castros, she thinks of toasters and lemons, a scarcity of pork and the hunger of children. Fingers curled around the flash drive pushed deep into her pocket, she walks quickly, intending a liaison, a tryst, an encounter far removed from the world’s prying eyes. Her longing is for a computer – her desire, to send her words into the world.
A young Cuban woman who blogs from Havana, Yoani Sanchez has built a worldwide readership. The circumstances of her life, her straightforward words and incisive intelligence make her someone worth reading. They also make her someone to fear, particularly if you happen to be a Cuban official whose only desire is to maintain order and preserve the status quo.
Dictators may smile benignly when philosophers and thinkers use large, rectangular words to ruminate over grand issues like Freedom, Censorship and Ineffective Government. But when pretty young bloggers begin to describe the realities of life in words everyone can understand – toasters and oxen, lemons and milk – dictators pay attention. (more…)