People who read blogs from Cuba generally do it on vocescubanas. It easier because all the bloggers are together on one platform and you don’t have to spend a lot of time opening multiple pages at the same time. Time on-line in Cuba is gold, either because it’s very expensive, because you are navigating as a “guest” thanks to a member, or because you’re at work and you take advantage of the few minutes when you know the one looking over your shoulder is absent.
A new independent platform gave many bloggers the opportunity to manage their sites (Yoani Sanchez, Reinaldo Escobar and Miriam Celaya). For me, specifically, it was the challenge of administering my blog in WordPress and the possibility of being read thanks to free software from inside my country. For other bloggers like Pablo Pacheco, it meant the certainty that his posts would be published and read from Havana.
However, for some days we haven’t been able to enter Voces from Cuba, this blockade does not change our conditions much: administering a blog is a luxury and almost all bloggers have found a friend who helps from somewhere in the world where the government doesn’t worry about its citizens navigating freely on the Internet. Whether from Havana or from the North Pole our texts will continue to be published despite government paranoia.
For readers on the island: for each paid censor on the Internet there exists in the world a volunteer hacker. Voces Cubanas opens by proxy, I have confirmed that these work in Cuba as of now:
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.