Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review: Havana Real by Yoani Sánchez

Havana Real includes some of the texts that Yoani Sánchez, the most famous Cuban blogger, have posted on her blog over a long period of time, and which in a very direct I’d dare say way, manage to dissolve the illusions of all those people in the west, especially Europe, that still think that Cuba is a socialist paradise of sorts.

Sánchez is, even though it would be unfair to label her, the voice of generation Y (the Greek Y and not the Latin as she’s fast to point out), as far as her homeland is concerned, since through her posts in the internet she has managed to shine a light on the other side of her country, the one the hordes of tourists never see and the comrades of faraway lands choose to ignore.

She writes about the oppression of the people by a ruthless regime, the widespread poverty, the corruption, and the intimidation tactics that are often used against the opponents of the state, the collapse of the health and education systems and the lack of critical for survival supplies in the markets. And she invites or rather dares all those people who claim that they sympathize with the hardships of the Cuban people to: “Come here and live as Cubans for a week. Then we can talk.”

Her mantra is, paraphrasing president Obama: “Yes, we want.” And they want nothing more but the basics: bread, education, freedom, in a country where someone can end up in jail for being predisposed to commit a crime.

1984 is there, and it really looks bad.

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