A Cuban blogger confronts ‘silent repression’

Why write a blog? My reasons might not be convincing, but to me, they are enough. The most important paper in my country is Granma, the official organ of the Communist Party in Cuba. You open it, you read it, and you don’t see anything. Nothing about the day that we are living in the island. It’s a piece of paper that does not say who we are. That’s why I write a blog; because I want to reflect my part of Cuba. 

It is a silent place that is not only my own. It’s a space that also belongs to thousands of young people who are trying to express many things, who want other alternatives, who dream of a future. I write a blog because I need to reflect my reality and that of those who surround me.

I write a blog because I can’t access my country’s media. It is the only way that I have to detail Sonia’s life. She is a 20-year-old woman who prostitutes herself in the capital’s streets. It’s about explaining why she abandoned her studies and the motivations she has for her tomorrow.

It’s about communicating the anxieties that plague Roberto, a young man who does not work for the state but spends his days sitting on a park bench. Why there are thousands of workers who steal from their jobs. Why there is so much delinquency and alcoholism. This is a reality that the official media tries to conquer because they are forbidden to explain why. This is a truth the government hides.

A blog for a Cuban is more than a Web site. It’s the space that we can pour all of our feelings into: frustration, impotence, happiness, aspirations, etc. It’s the place where we give life to our land, where it stops being Cuba and it becomes the Cuban people–flesh and blood people with their own existence.

Writing for a blog is more than sharing with the world or with another Cuban the reality that you live and suffer. It’s more than becoming an echo of whispers, denouncing injustices and abuses. On the blog I can mitigate anger that’s been repressed. It’s a kind of internal peace that I didn’t feel before. A blog is where I release anxiety and free myself from depression.

With a blog we can face the silent repression–subtle and generalized–that governs us. It is the opportunity to say what we think, even if we feel scared. I write a blog because the fear I feel is not comparable to a future without hope. This is what it is: feeling free.

Laritza Diversent is a contributor to Desde La Habana.

(Translated from Spanish)