Lord knows, but had the resourceful and courageous Yoani Sánchez, 32, come of age before the Internet, it's most likely that we would have never heard of her. Nor would we have had the opportunity to read her charming but pugnacious slice-of-life portraits of Cuba, which she has been sending out through cyberspace since April 2007 as the Generación Y blogger (desdecuba.com/generaciony).
Trained as a philologist in Havana but denied a career in academiaher dissertation, entitled Dictatorships in Latin American Literature, was perceived as a veiled criticism of the Castro regimeSánchez has made a living working in Havana's tourist industry.
More important, 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. The pieces she has been clandestinely sending out from Internet caféswhile posing as a touristare often funny, elegantly written and poignant. Her subjects have included the shortage of lemons, the turgid proceedings of the Cuban parliament and the slowness of meaningful reforms by Raúl Castro.
These have earned her international acclaim. With a feisty dedication to the truth, Yoani Sánchez's activities bode well for the future of her country.
Hijuelos is the son of Cuban immigrants. His novel Dark Dude comes out this year
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