Habito una utopía que no es mía

The title of this post is a quotation from a Twitter feed maintained by Yoani Sánchez of Havana, Cuba — one of the world’s most distinguished bloggers: “I inhabit a utopia that is not mine.”

She started her blog in April 2007. Since then, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world and listed her blog Generation Y, as one of the 25 best blogs of 2009. This year, Columbia University’s journalism school awarded her the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the oldest international award in journalism.

But she couldn’t travel to New York City to accept it; Cuban immigration authorities refused to grant her an exit visa.

Today, she wrote a blog post summing up that experience, “Speaking my mind,” which includes a video that records her last attempt to get a visa from an immigration office located in the Vedado district of Havana.

I read her blog not only because I’m trying re-learn Spanish more than 30 years after I last studied the language and it’s helpful to switch between the English and Spanish versions of her posts. I read it because of her sharp eye for detail and highly compressed prose style, which she uses to raise the humble blog-post to the level of high art. She can make a 300-word post say more than some people can say in a 100,000-word book. Above all, I read it for inspiration.

Here’s an English-language profile of her, broadcast yesterday on CNN:

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