A blogger academy in Cuba

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Blogger Yoani Sanchez is known around the world for her vivid and passionately oppositional account of life in Communist Cuba, but she is almost unknown on the island itself. Her blog, Generation Y, is blocked by the Castro government. In addition, Sanchez is not allowed an Internet connection at home. She posts from hotels and cybercafes.

Yet that apparently is not stopping Sanchez from spreading her blogging skills to others. The Global Post reports from Havana -- from Sanchez’s living room, actually -- on the blogger’s effort to pass along to other Cubans the ticks and tricks of Twitter and blogging platforms such as TypePad and WordPress:


‘Today we’re going to talk about Twitter,’ Sanchez began on a recent afternoon, quieting the room. The students ranged in age from early 20s to mid-50s. One man’s late father had been a leader of the Cuban Revolution. Given the Castro government’s record of infiltrating opposition groups, it was also likely a few of the students were there to take notes on their classmates, not their coursework. No one seemed too worried about that, though, and the atmosphere was friendly, almost festive.

A pro-government Internet writer, however, sees ill intentions in Sanchez’s school. Rosa Miriam Elizalde, editor of Cubadebate, says the blogger academy is ‘taking place in a framework of a U.S. policy of subversion and aggression.’

To the students, the coursework appears enriching.

‘There are people who think I’m doing something wrong by coming here, but I don’t think so,” a 53-year-old housewife (and debut blogger) tells the visiting reporter. ‘We’re people who want change, and we want the current government to be an instrument of change.’

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City