Havana Real

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2011-04-26
  • Publisher: Melville House

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Yoani Saacute;nchez is an unusual dissident: no street protests, no attacks on big politicos, no calls for revolution. Rather, she produces a simple diary about what it means to live under the Castro regime in Cuba: the difficulty of shopping and chronic hunger; the art of repairing ancient appliances; the struggle for real news and the burdens of reading the party newspaper; the fear of admission to hospitals that lack the supplies for basic sterilization; and a life structured by a propaganda machine that pushes deep into the media, the public square, and the schools. Each sensitive dispatch is a brutal and honest depiction of Cuban life today. For these simple acts of truth telling--which are published online at Generation Y, and collected here in English for the first time--Sanchez is treated as a domestic radical: she is summoned by the police; her friends are threatened; she was recently kidnapped and beaten. The state newspaper has gone so far to call her "a spy in the pay of capitalism." Her ultimate concern, however, is for her friends in prison, and for the many who have fled, and for all those who have ceased to believe in the future of Cuba. Here the situation is elegantly expressed from the perspective of important and compelling new voice, one that has already found a worldwide audience online.

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