This is #1,000 post on the CIPE Development Blog. We thought that this small anniversary is a good reason for some reflection.
Since we launched the blog four years ago in December 2005, the online environment has changed significantly. Blogging for democracy and economic freedom is spreading, especially in places where traditional media is tightly controlled. What was a novelty four years ago – such as blogging in Iran or Cuba – has become accepted as a given.
In a place where freedom of speech and freedom of press are considered luxuries and not rights, Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez has found a way to project her voice. In her alternative blog, Generation Y, Sánchez recounts her daily life in Havana, but is sure to include a colorful and critical analysis of the government and its policies. She herself refers to the blog as “an exercise in cowardice” because it allows her to say virtually what she is unable to say in public. Because of her uncompromising content, the Cuban government has made every effort to step in and limit her audience within Cuba. This constant struggle against the government, however, has not diluted her efforts. Since starting the blog in 2008, Sánchez has received many international commendations for her efforts, and recently was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University in New York. Not surprisingly, and also not for the first time, Yoani Sánchez was denied the right to travel outside of the country to accept this award. Undeterred, she recorded her conversation with government officials about this unjust travel prohibition and publicized that experience online as well.