Cuba unblocks access to controversial blog

HAVANA Tue Feb 8, 2011 4:23pm EST

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez talks to Reuters in her house in Havana November 9, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez talks to Reuters in her house in Havana November 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Enrique De La Osa

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HAVANA (Reuters) - Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez said on Tuesday the Cuban government apparently has unblocked access to her blog, which had been off limits on the island's Internet since 2008.

In a posting on Twitter, she wondered how long Cuban Internet users would be able to view her Generation Y blog, (www.desdecuba.com/generaciony/), but exulted in the opening, however brief.

"In the long night of censorship, a small hole has opened. My blog Generation Y returns to the insular light," the 35-year-old blogger said.

Her blog, which criticizes the Cuban system and the difficulties of daily life on the communist-led island, is little known in Cuba, where Internet access is limited, but she has an international audience.

Sanchez has become the new face of political opposition in Cuba, replacing an old guard less conversant in new technologies, and she has earned the enmity of the Cuban government, which frequently criticizes her on its websites.

She was mentioned prominently last week in a leaked videotape of a government meeting about the Internet as the new battlefield in Cuba's ongoing ideological conflict with the United States.

Sanchez has won a number of international prizes and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2008.

Her blog is translated into 15 languages and she has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter.

A Cuban government official did not respond to questions about why Sanchez's blog has been unblocked, but it came as Cuba hosted an international computer science conference.

(Reporting by Nelson Acosta and Esteban Israel; Editing by Jeff Franks and Paul Simao)

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Comments (2)
jmwave wrote:
The funny thing is that it is the USA which prevents Cuba direct access to the internet and the world wide web. Recently it was Google and Facebook which blocked Cuba. This blogger is paid by foreign supporters most likely from USAID grant money and the US political war sustained against the island. Let’s not forget that USA’s policy against Cuba for the past 50 plus years has been specifically to topple the Cuban system. Since economic blockade, direct military intervention, terrorism(Mongoose), political pressure(Europe and Latin America) and the old media barrage(Radio TV Marti(US funded), tolerance of anti-Cuban terrorist in Miami and Union City, has had little results (except in killing Cubans and limiting their economic development), their new more sophisticated approach is to buy dissidents and wage an internet media war. The blogger Sanchez is just one of the paid bloggers. Cuba does not need to block her blog, for her blogs ill- conceived, contrived and followed mainly abroad by those with little knowledge of Cuba and a relative few fans in Cuba and in the State Department. Perhaps DOS will grant her wish(see wikileaks cables) so that she can have access to online shopping. Lets get serious and report the truly nefarious US policy against the 11 million Cubans. Milton Sanchez-Parodi

Feb 08, 2011 6:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Agilulfo2 wrote:
The funny thing is how wrong and biased you are without realizing it. Let me guess, you haven’t been to Cuba? To the real Cuba that is. I have, for 20 years of my life, and all what Yoanny talks about is no secret to anybody, she just had the courage to talk, that is right, you need courage in those conditions. She is simply putting it there, on a little online blog, and they blocked the already weak access that a few people had to it, and now they take it back for mysterious reasons, without announcements. Lets be fair, there have been many seriously questionable acts against Cuba, but that is a different issue that does not under any circumstances justify what the people is suffering under the military elite they have established there, with their little businesses, stealing away everything they can and simply exploiting the people, and taking away every civil right they want, whenever they want.

Feb 08, 2011 10:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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