Feature

Cuba: Where blogging is an act of treason

Blogger Yoani Sanchez has never been able to leave Cuba to accept any of the awards she has won for her site because the Cuban government classifies her as a &ldquo;mercenaria,&rdquo; said Klaus Ehringfeld in <em>Frankfurter Runds

Klaus EhringfeldFrankfurter Rundschau (Germany)

Yoani Sanchez says she’s no dissident, said Klaus Ehringfeld. The 32-year-old Cuban blogger has won numerous international awards for her blog chronicling her life in the communist state. Yet she’s never been able to leave the country to accept any of the honors, because the Cuban government classifies her as a “mercenaria”—an operative taking foreign payments to overthrow the government. Sanchez says the charge is ridiculous. “I’ve never advocated any particular dogma,” she insists.

Still, merely telling the world about daily life in Cuba can amount to an act of rebellion. Recently, for example, Sanchez held a party to celebrate the installation of a new elevator in her building, seven months after the old, Soviet-built one broke. Before the guests arrived, the new elevator broke down too, because, as Sanchez wrote, “the bureaucrats who bought the new machine in Russia skimped on the cables, assuming the old ones would work with the new lift.” The result was “a horribly loud crash.”

Such detailed anecdotes expose “the deficiencies and weaknesses” of the communist system better than any political protest could. Sanchez may be politically neutral. But her writings are “political dynamite.”

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