Cuban Dissident, Generation Y
Yoani María Sánchez Cordero (born September 4, 1975) is a Cuban blogger who has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government.
Sánchez attended primary school during the affluent time when the Soviet Union was providing considerable aid to Cuba. However, her high school and university education coincided with the loss of financial aid to Cuba following the Soviet Union’s collapse, creating a highly public educational system and style of living that subsequently left Sánchez with a strong need for personal privacy. Sánchez’s university education left her with two understandings; first, that she had acquired a disgust for “high culture”, and second that she no longer had an interest in philology, her chosen field of university study.
Sánchez, disillusioned with her home country, left Cuba for Switzerland in 2002, and it was during this time that she became interested in computer science. When she finally returned to Cuba, Sánchez helped to establish Contodos, a magazine that continues to act as a forum for Cuban free expression, and a vehicle for reporting news. Sánchez is best known for her blog, Generación Y (Generation Y); which, despite censorship in Cuba, she is able to publish by e-mailing the blog entries to friends outside the country who then post them online. The blog is translated and available in 17 languages.
Time magazine listed her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that “under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech”. In November 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, wrote that her blog “provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba” and applauded her efforts to “empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology”.
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