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Cuba: One Year of Blogging from the Inside

Bloggers-Cuba

November 27 marked the date of the first anniversary of Bloggers Cuba [es], a community of bloggers dedicated to write about their country “from the inside”. Along with their collective blog, their work also includes the “Cuban reader” [es], a collection of RSS feeds from more than 30 blogs of the Cuban blogosphere, that can be used as a starting point for any visitor who wants to read about the country.

What makes Bloggers Cuba unique is their inside perspective: although there are more than 700 blogs that deal with Cuba as a subject, they regard the majority of these blogs as being maintained by authors that live outside the isle. Their insight has brought friction towards the authors from readers and conversely strengthened the friendship among contributors, as they recalled in a roundup about their anniversary post [es].

Contributor Roger TM shared:

Hace poco más de un año, éramos solo 11 personas en un aulita fría del Palacio Central de Computación, luego de varios encuentros esporádicos, se fueron sumando otros Blogueros que teníamos cierta afinidad en cuanto a ideas. Hoy hace exactamente un año vio la luz este proyecto, que ahora, más que ser un grupo de Blogueros con ideas afines, somos un grupo de amigos (…)

About a year ago, we were only 11 people in a cold room at Palacio Central de Computación (Central Palace of Computing), after several sporadic encounters other bloggers with the same interests joined in. Today, exactly one year ago, this project saw light, and
now, more than just a group of bloggers with similar ideas, we are a group of friends (…)

Boris:

Te pueden cerrar una puerta, te pueden dejar solo, te pueden acusar y querer llevarte a la hoguera… pero si tienes buenos amigos, te puedes salvar también. Eso ha sido Bloggers Cuba, una comunidad de amigos reunidos entorno a un blog, unas cuantas cyberaficiones comunes, algunas ideas sobre cómo debe ser esta isla… Y muchas ganas de hacer, de soñar en grande, aunque después, no pocas veces, nos hayamos quedado en la ilusión. Y lo mejor: nadie nos convocó, nadie nos pidió hacerlo, nadie controló el “cumplimiento de la tarea”. Nunca antes me sentí tan libre.

They can close a door, they can leave you alone, they can accuse you of something and try to throw you to the fire… but if you have good friends, you can be saved too. Bloggers Cuba has been that, a community of friends gathered around a blog, with similar cyberhobbies, and some ideas of how things should be on this isle… And the will to make things, to dream the big picture, although we have stayed in the illusion more than once. And better: nobody called us, nobody asked us to do it, nobody controlled “the finishing of the task”. I have never felt so free.

David:

“Tu eres francés, no te metas en nuestros problemas, no opines, no te asiste el derecho, si lo tuyo es el rock, métele caña a las guitarras y sigue apoyando las bandas, pero deja mi política en paz que no te incumbe… no postees más en blogs de tantas estupideces como esas, limiítate a lo tuyo… ok?”…
Me gané innumerables insultos, provocaciones, amenazas, descalificaciones gracias a Bloggers Cuba :) … pero Bloggers Cuba me confirmó que no todos los gusanos (gente que ha dejado la isla) son malos y que no todos los revolucionarios son buenos, y vice versa. Bloggers Cuba ha abierto una puerta de diálogo y ha inspirado nuevas plataformas de blogs cubanas administrada desde adentro: Voces Cubanas, Blogcip… BC fue pionero en eso.

You are french, you should not get into our problems, you should not have an opinion, you do not have the right, if your thing is rock music, make your effort with guitars and keep supporting bands, but leave my politics alone, because they are no matter for you… you should not post in blogs about stupid things like that, stay in your thing… ok?”…
 I was
given countless insults, taunts, threats, and defamations thanks to Bloggers Cuba :) … but Bloggers Cuba also confirmed for me that not all gusanos (people who have left the isle) are bad and not all the revolutionaries are good, and viceversa. Bloggers Cuba has opened a door to dialogue and has inspired new platforms of Cuban blogs maintained from the inside: Voces Cubanas, Blogcip… In that regard, BC was a pioneer.

Zorphdark:

Un par de horas después de un aburrido mediodía de mayo recibo el único correo que he marcado con una estrella en GMail. Era una invitación de BC para ser parte de su comunidad. Han pasado más de seis meses de aquel intenso respirar y aún no lo creo. “No soy digno” -pensaba; “¿qué publicar?” -todavía me pregunto. Llego al punto de encuentro, a una fiesta inolvidable, y conozco a muchas de las personas que han influido directamente en mi vida desde entonces: gente que admiro profundamente, con la que me siento de maravilla, con quienes invertiría decenas de horas para conversar. Seres humanos VIP, llenos de imaginación, de juventud y cubanía.

A couple of hours after the boring midday of May, I received the only e-mail that I have ever marked with a star in GMail. It was an invite from BC to belong to their community. It has been more than six months from that heavy breathing, and I still cannot believe it. “I am not worth it” –I thought; “what should I write about?” –I still wonder. I arrive at the meeting point, an unforgettable party, and I meet many people that have influenced my life directly since then: people who I admire profoundly, people who make me feel wonderful, people who I can talk to for tens of hours. VIP human beings, full of imagination, youth and Cuban-ness.

Bloggers Cuba also publishes a summary of their monthly posts as a zine available for download in PDF format.

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