Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blogging from Cuba

Yoani Sanchez, a young Cuban blogger (Generatión Y) reacts to the news that Fidel Castro is resigning.

Feb. 20, 2008 | I haven’t been able to get any sleep since three in the morning. The phone began to ring minutes after Granma’s webpage published Fidel Castro’s latest reflections. I haven’t been able to go back to bed since then. It’s hard to think with any clarity when I’ve been up all night, especially since I’m still in the “pinch me to make sure I’m awake” stage. My friends don’t help much either, since they assault me with questions, as if anyone on this island could have “answers” to anything.

I have lived all my life with the same president. And not just me, but my mom and dad too — they were born in ’57 and ’54 respectively — they don’t remember any president other than the one who resigned today. Various generations of Cubans have never been asked who would govern them. Although we don’t have much doubt today of who will be next to occupy the highest office, at least it appears that one person will definitely not be it. Just like in those Alfred Hitchcock (suspense) films, we’ve now found out, just five days before the elections, that our disciplined representatives (in the General Assembly) will be facing a different ballot, that they will not have to put their mark next to the same candidate’s name as always.

Even though I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, I understand that today marks the closing of a circle. It’s important to ask whether the new one that also opens today will carry our names, our hopes, or if it will take another 50 years.

For the time being, I close my eyes, and already I feel lighter.