Several weeks ago, I 'stumbled' upon Generation Y, a blog maintained at great cost by the prize winning Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez. The first post I read hooked me immediately. Her style is simple and heartbreakingly transparent. She writes about life in Cuban with immediacy and intimacy. I know something of the island, the people and the real picture of necessity that most people don't ever see.
I am sharing this with the readers not only because her writing is excellent, (she won Time's best blog in 2009 and many other prizes) but also because she reminds us all that to blog is to exercise our fundamental freedom of expression. Yoani does not have easy access to the web; only the elite few have this. Everyone else must use the wifi in the hotels and this can cost up to one third of a monthly salary for one hour of access. This is simply impossible for most people. Yoani has a network of friends to whom she texts parts of her blog posts. These friends translate her blog in 20 different languages and publish it for her. This is simply a stupendous collaborative effort that is inspirational to me.
Yoani does not write about her problems but about friends, family and even strangers who all share in the increasingly difficult situation of Cuban necessity. Her writing and their plight touches me. Yoani tells her readers that to help, we should link to her blog and that way, the Cuban government will see that Cuban bloggers are being read by the rest of the world. If you are so inclined, stop by her blog, read a few posts and then share it with your friends on Facebook, tweet it out to your network and certainly, if you blog, link to her collective effort.
Thank you Yoani for reminding us of our fundamental freedom of expression.