HAVANA – Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez said Tuesday that she is happy and satisfied by an award from a Danish think-tank, saying the recognition compensates for the “stigmatization” to which she is subjected by official propaganda on the communist-ruled island.
Sanchez, creator of the blog “Generacion Y,” told Efe that this Tuesday she got the news about the prize awarded her by Denmark’s Center for Independent Research, or CEPOS, while she was “teaching seven people how to post messages on the World Wide Web of the blogosphere.”
“The news came when I was doing what I like best, providing people with ‘wings to fly’ in the IT sky,” she said.
Sanchez has been invited to receive the CEPOS Liberty Prize at a ceremony in Copenhagen.
As on previous occasions, the blogger has applied to Cuban authorities for the necessary permission to attend the event.
“But I don’t know what will be the answer tomorrow (Wednesday), because if it’s negative, it will be the ninth ‘no’ I have received in less than three years. The first was in May 2008 when I was supposed to receive the Spanish Ortega y Gasset Prize for Digital Journalism,” she said.
Cuba is one of a handful of countries that requires citizens to seek permission for travel abroad.
For the Cuban blogger, what is most important is that the “insular immobility” with which the Cuban government punishes her has increased solidarity around her work and allows her to keep in touch with Cuban realities which are “the best raw material” for her online journalism.
“I have never stopped writing, while taking advantage of what I know to show others how to use Internet tools. I’m happy and satisfied about the road I’ve taken since launching my blog, though I’m always being watched and am permanently stigmatized by government propaganda,” she said.
Sanchez, 35, believes that “taking this route has the compensation of finding people who read what I write and seeing new voices appear, even though every day I face the lack of technology and police repression in the form of being permanently watched and put under some very tough pressure.”
“But fortunately I have the support of my family and friends and the chance to see that the blogosphere is as contagious as the flu,” she said. EFE