From the house to the Nation


The elections of February 24th are approaching and in the streets of my city few people ask who will be our next president. However, I have decided to conduct an exercise – a useless one – to point out what I would like in the next person who is going to represent us:

  • I don’t want a military person to lead the country (you know I’m allergic to olive green).  I prefer civilians who don’t speak of cannons, but who know of my angst and my daily difficulties.
  • I don’t desire another “charismatic” leader (that’s only good for nice pictures or to become an idol); but a modest administrator who would take care of the resources of the country and who doesn’t believe that he “leads” us but who knows that he must “serve” us.
  • I would like someone who, at the end of his term would yield the seat to the next one who would be elected; or who we can remove ourselves if he stops representing us.
  • I dream of (and here I show my feminism) a pragmatic housewife who, from up there will be concerned about bringing us to our senses and dedicated to reconciling her “troublemaker” children.
  • I hope not to have another competent orator, but rather a rare specimen of politician who knows how to listen to us.
  • I am not expecting a father – omnipresent and omnipotent – but a President, to whom I can complain – freely – in public.


  1. “tutto il mondo e paese” somos todos lo mismo cuando se habla de lo che queremos en la vida. En italiano se dice che todo el mundo es un pueblo. Soy feliz de conoscer a su blog de nuestro lado (meno politico) de el estrecho de la florida.

  2. I applaud your courage for publishing your sincere and noble wishes for “our” country. I too was a child born of that revolution. I became a political refugee in 1967 at the tender age of 5 and have not visited my homeland since. My family, like countless others, suffered at the hands this cruel and unjust regime. We were forced to forge a new life in a cold and foreign land, but a land that not only tolerates, but fosters an open dialogue and a free flow of ideas. I too share your sentiments and longing for a free, Democratic Cuba and would love nothing more than to see your dream come true. God’s blessings!

  3. I agree with Tony, you are indeed a courageous woman. And as a first generation Cuban-American, I too would like nothing more than to see your dream come true. Like Judy above, I would love to see similar qualities in our next U.S. president. The only difference is that in the U.S. we have the right to speak our minds without fear of punishment, we can criticize our government openly, we can demand more of our leaders and every four years we have the opportunity to make a change by exercising our right to vote. Your blog reminds me that with all its flaws, I am lucky to have been born and raised in “el exilio.”

  4. I hope you see your dreams come true. It would be lovely to see a free and democratic Cuba, with open travel and commerce with the U.S. I think the Cuban economy would explode (in a good way!). 🙂

  5. I was in Cuba this February 24 interviewing the man on the street on political views. The widespread apathy, while understandable, was appalling! I didn’t talk to anyone who had actually voted – what for? To even call it a vote was a joke. And I doubt very much whether anyone in Cuba believes the big promises of the new president.
    But speaking of jokes: look at the U.S. where everyone is so proud to vote. Again, what for? The count will be manipulated so long until the desired result is achieved – it’s only a question of which state it will be this time. I hate to burst your bubble, but would you rather have a president who steals the election (twice!) and serves only those people who represent big industry (and who financed his campaign), who wages wars on countries that do not embrace the American ideal of democracy and imposes an embargo on the one he cannot suppress, while ignoring the plight of his own countrymen after Katrina devastated their homes (sorry, they were black and poor) and can’t even manage to introduce universal health care in the most powerful country on the planet. Need I go on? Democracy is supposed to mean that the majority wins, but is the majority necessarily right? Does the majority (and keep in mind the astonishingly high rate of illiteracy among the voters of the United States) know what is right? What good does “freedom of speech” go you if nobody is listening?
    I know Cubans who are living “happily ever after” in Miami, but I seriously question whether they are truly better off than their family members left behind in Matanzas. Jodido pero contento.

  6. El Joe no entendio nada.He didn’t get it because he hasn’t lived in Cuba for sure.Not everybody can understand us.It’s difficult to imagine our reality ,so absurd!!!

  7. That is…Who’s talking about US intervention in Cuba!? We don’t want them there like they are unwanted everywhere they go to “restore” democracy…This is something different. Don’t let blind passionate people tell you the wrong story…Sometimes they do it with that purpose…

  8. I commend you for your courage to continue speaking your mind, I too wish for a democratic Cuba. Coming from someone who lives in Canada, this probably sounds a bit ironic, however, I could never imagine living under Dictatorship. I immensely enjoy the ability to speak freely about my government and question them when I think they are wrong. Remind your people to continue to educate and love their children as this will one day lead to a better government. Educated children ask more questions… a questioning civilization leads to a better government that will one day represent you as the incredible people you prove yourself to be everyday! I have alot of respect for you and your ideas. Keep up the good work and let your voice be heard.

  9. I don’t have a “Y” on my name, but I do understand that what you need in any person that makes a decision to speak his or her mind out in Cuba is the letter “V” de valor or the transalation to english of “C” for courage .
    Don’t paid attention to Yanetsi, she really don’t have a clue of what she is saying o como se dice en español OYO REPICAR PERO NO SABE DONDE”

  10. Keep the dream alive! Many in this world are not aware of the suffering and discontent in Cuba today. The Cuban people have become numb with all the lies and oppression on the island. Thank you for speaking up. Like Jose, I admire you. And I hope that MANY more join the cause for freedom. Cuba is a beautiful and plentiful country, and I know that democracy and accountability from the government will one day be a reality.

  11. Te felicito, por el blog, por el coraje que tienes, por tus ganas de libertad y de ver cambiar el mundo. Por la fuerza y la belleza de tus palabras. Simplemente me encanta tu espacio. ¡Mucho ánimo y adelante!

  12. Yanetsy,

    Is there anyone forcing you to be in this country?

    Why don’t you go to China, or ask for political asylum in Russia?

    I’m a Cuban. I live here. I love this country almost as much as my own.

    You see? Someone is listening.

    If you don’t like this country, get out, we don’t like you either.

    And, don’t even try to B.S me, this country was built entirely by inmigrants.

    This country is not perfect, nothing is perfect, but, it is the best in the whole world.

    So, get out.

  13. Dear,
    I honestly belive Fidel Raul Castro was, is and will be the most positive asset of your nations and a great man. He stood, just as graduated student, against political oppression of Batista, he made Cuba a better place to live for the masses and the oppressed. Many people tend to judge him and and his decisions extrapolating from the historical moments, in which they took place. Indeed, they tend to forget what South America was in the 50′-60′, and now, under the oppressive US foregin policy..So why dont u write something against the US oppression on Cuba and their disgusting economic blockage, rather than criticizing the only man who has always been defending the right of your country?
    Kind regards,

  14. Attention everybody

    People of the comunist party get into this blog to make sabotage. Lorenzo is probably one of them!!

    Dear Lorenzo

    We cubans have had enough of USA themes in Cuba. The government cannot do anything else than criticising them the whole day and every day for already 49 years in every medium.
    Man, are you crazy? Do you want that Yoani do the same thing? Why?
    USA is not the only guilty one, open your eyes!

  15. Dear Yoarky,
    I can reassure you that I am not here to make sabotage. Indeed I am a just a graduated student who wish to express his opinion on one of the topic of this blog. My point of view is that
    1-Castrist revolution has undoubtely brought benefits to most of the Cuaban and correct the injusties of the Batista period (History proved it). 2- the US embargo and aggressive foregin policy led to the current rigidities of the Cuban political system and the shortage of goods.
    3- you should be aware of the fact that without people like Cienfuegos, Almedia, Fidel and thousands of others Cuba would undoubtely have become a US-colony with a right-wing dictator/assasinator (u can choose from a lonf lists of examples Videla, Somoza, Pinochet…ecc..). As such. before raising your voice and your hands against the current system look at the sacrifies have been made to get a free cuba.
    To sum up in answer to your rethorical question, I say Yes, she should, because it would be the truth. Streching this arguement, I would say that without the US imperialistic policy, there would not have been the necessity of a revolution…

  16. Dear Yoani,

    I love your country and I am amazed how much people seem to suffer there. In capitalist countries it is not better, even worse. Believe me, I grew up in one, in the Center of Europe where people seem to have everything, but they also had all the violencia
    in the world and were unhappy, deep inside.
    Your Che was a true hero, had he lived Cuba would be even a better place.
    Love to you! I like your blog very much.
    Gracias for letting us share your point of view.


  17. Lorenzo:
    Where are you living man; To me you sound like a one of those idiots comunist that do not read or listen to anything else that what the “PARTY’ allows you to read. Read more about Cuba history, do not write just for the heck of said something against the USA. Don’t you know or have you heard what Cuba has become under the Castro family. What type of benefits Castrist revolution has brougth to Cuba, misery, hunger, depravation of liberties, political killing, people diyng tryng to live the country, have you heard about this. Or you have hears only to listen to your master. How estupidity goes so long has to said the necesities of the cuban people, after 49 years of castrismo, you blame on the enbargo, do you know that last year Cuba bought to the USA more than $450, 0000 millions in food and medicines and the people of Cuba does not know about, or never has seen much of this because all goes to feed the tourist in the big hotels, that know Raul is opening for the cubans, but they have to pay the fares in EU or dollars. Don’t be estupid and read, learn what is really going on in Cuba, ask your self, WHY SO MANY CUBAN RISK THEIR LIVE AND THE LIVES OF THEIR FAMILY TO ESCAPE FROM “PARADISE” wake up stupid comunist.

  18. Jose”Clandestino”,
    first of all, I can tell I know Cuba better than u, as I’ve been there for a long time and I know what I am talkin about. Second of all, I study south-American history, so I have a good knowledge of the matter. As such, dont even start with ur poor, and I would add very unpolite, rethoric by saying I just believe what people tell me, as I have lived there and I saw the remarkable successes of the Castrsit revolution! However, I undestand that for a spoiled Miami Cuban, as u sound, that too hard to understadn, but I am glad of it! Indeed if u dont see the aggressive and imperilaistic policy of ur nation (US), u are too immature and pathetic even to start discussing with u. Go back to shool, read about heroes like Maceo, Marti’ and Fidel!!

  19. Lorenzo

    i understand your point…However, we don´t need to compare us all the time with the past or other countries. Let me put it like this, we have the right to try something else. It doesnt maetter if it is better or worse.
    If you don´t love a woman o a man, let us say, you don´t stay with her/him, only because she is better than the last girlfriend. Do you do that? Problably, you would look for the one you love. An that it is exactly what it is about. We have the right to have another government, because this one hadn´t helped that much to solve our problems. I didn´t talk about USA.
    I am talking about Cuba, which needs freadom and alternatives in the countryside, to work effectively, to function somehow, to find a way to sustain itself, independent from every other country. I am talking about lack of movement of the politic which doen´t even question their procedures. It doesn´t work and it doesn´t let others work, too much of control, too much talk, to much propaganda bouth inside and abroad…And where is the action??

  20. Ésa es una lista de objetivos maravillosamente sincera de cualidades para su gobierno y líder …… pues estaría para cualquier nación en esta tierra. Espero que venga algún día verdad para toda la población de Cuba.



  21. Para: yanetsy
    In your opinion you have said those things.
    Please go back to Cuba, as you are not happy here, and are obviously held back from enjoying your freedoms. But don’t assume that all Americans are bitter as yourself. Or are you not yet an American?

  22. Congrats to you for speaking out. Its amazing how views are different everywhere. First off, the govt down there uses the USA as its main point of reference for its Revolution. But doesnt bother looking at Europe, Free Asia, Australia, etc.. for comparisons. Clearly the fact that most of the worlds people do have the ability for political change every several years in their countries, its not convenient for your “leaders” to take the whole world on, so they just focus on the US.

    Now one thing is for sure, Cuba is good for the old people, and the US is great for the young people. So, the perceptions and opinions are not just political, but also dependent on where you are in life at this moment in time. Castro has seemed to have done a good job in the social security concept where people get a free education and the old and infirmed get medical care and medicine. But the healthy and the young get very little benefit and have their ideas censored and have their ambitions quashed. While, here in the US, you can have all the ambition you want and you can live the American dream so long as you are healthy. But when you are older and need medicines and health care, if you are rich you are ok, but if you are poor you are in big trouble and no politician in the US really cares to help. I am sure an American sick poor person would jump on a raft and head to Cuba to live if they had the opportunity!! So the Florida Straits could someday look like a highway of people floating….. Young people heading in one direction to the north, and the old and infirmed heading south!!

    Unfortunately, an economy and a society requires young, middle age and old alike to live together and support each other so sucking out the young would not allow the society to care for the old. Hence such a plan could never work. But it illustrates very well why Cuba works in some ways and fails miserably in others. And why free nations work in certain ways, but also fails in others. There is no nirvana anywheres on this globe. That is for sure. But being able to speak ones mind without risk of jail or persecution is for sure the better place to live. I hope you can someday enjoy that freedom.

    Good luck to you.

  23. Hello there,

    I just wanted to say that I REALLY hope you get a “democratic” Cuba. Media controlling what you should know — but without letting it clear –, high crime rates, social inequality, too much money on the hands of the greedy rich ones… Really, I really wish you a total US-like right-winged President for you. You will see how your Cuba will change — for worse.

    The same way I can just have a notion of how it is to live there, you don’t know how it to live in capitalistic goverments. So we can’t say anything — and that’s why I don’t have a blog. I prefer to live in a country without advanced technology, knowing that I’m being controlled by the media (and not having to revolt myself each time I read the newspaper our watch the TV), with low crime rate and SAME disponibility of health care to everyone — not only for those who can pay the expensiest hospitals.

    Stop and think about it. Even if you don’t, I still hope you get a Bush, a Kennedy, whatever. You’ll se how it is good. But, it will be too late. The media will be controling the society, so, EVEN if you regret all that you wrote about socialism, you will NEVER EVER receive the same attention from the media.

    Lucas Deschamps.

  24. Dear Yoani,

    First of all, I would like to express my amazement about your courage, speaking freely of things that I suppose to be very uncomfortable for the Cuban government. I know Cuba from books, Discovery Channels and other few sources that gave me the image of a beautiful country with lovely people that are full of life, in spite of the difficulty conditions they have to face day by day.
    I am not a youngster and I should rather called myself an “old boy”, but I have always tried to understand young people, because they represent the future.
    I am living in Romania, one of the several former communist countries from East of Europe. We gave up with a very hard communist regime in 1989 (some people used to call the event “revolution”, but I should rather say it was a “coup d’etat”, because the former “communist nomenclatura” became overnight a capitalist caste) and suddenly we had to deal with FREEDOM.
    We have started a very long journey to the much expected democracy, but the many hopes that have been further born, disappeared one by one.
    We have just wanted a democratic society, but we have today a ferocious capitalism. Instead of having spirit emancipation, we have now a dramatic decrease of the intellectual life.
    We found later that it is not enough to have freedom, but to better know how to use it.
    It was a harsh lesson that we have received from the life. The former communist regime has turned out the minds and changed the mentality of the people. We can see the results today, when people are free and used to repeatedly give their votes to the same corrupt or corruptible people.
    As concerns the evaluation of the outside friends or enemies, everybody has to be more careful.
    Countries like USA or Russia, or any other influent state, are to be just eventual partners. Do not expect to receive from them something free of charge. At the world wide scale, everything must be paid. Such countries will not care of you and they will continuously look for obtaining as much benefit as possible, from a political or commercial relationship with your country.
    For countries like ours, it is very important to learn a kind of “political ballet” that can grant you always the best international position.
    My comment became already too long, and I have to conclude, but not saying before, that it is really unwise to look all the time for enemies, outside of your country. The most important and far more dangerous enemy is inside of our minds.

  25. Olá, eu sou portuguesa, o meu país é Portugal, situado ao sul da Europa. Gostei muito de conhecer o teu blog. Desejo-te muitas felicidades e que possas viver num país livre e democrático como o meu.

  26. “we have the right to speak our minds without fear of punishment, we can criticize our government openly, we can demand more of our leaders and every four years we have the opportunity to make a change “??????????????????? QUE???????????????????????????????????????

    you ever heard of Paul Wellstone, John Tower, Martin Luther King Jr, Fred Hampton,Hue P Newton,Hunter S thompson, Gary Webb
    all people who spoke their minds in the US and their all dead. Big Government will always be Big Government in Cuba or the United States
    only here the nation is so large and well funded that it can take a few people protesting, but once you show resolve and the power to unite the people then you become dangerous in the eyes of the state. If your happy being insignificant than you will fit in well in Miami becomming a slave to materialism ( the national church of the United States) If you don’t believe me go ahead expose the truth about the oil, Beef, or Cigarette companies or any Large Corporation, if they don’t pay off other scientist to counter your information first

  27. te felicito todo esta muy bien que tengas el valor de expresarte yo vine pequena para este pais pero admiro cuando alguien da un paso al frente para representar la juventud cubana porque estoy acostumbrada a ver que la gente habla cuando sale de cuba pero alli nadie dice una palabra sigue y no te dejes intimidar suerte

  28. Congratulazioni per il tuo blog , nel 68 sognavamo di cambiare il mondo.Ora per Cuba e’ il momento della riflessione. Mi aspetto cambiamenti pacifici .


    Se Chile tiene democraticamente una mujer como Presidente de la Republica porque no en un futuro proximo YOANI para Presidente en Cuba ???
    Pero para isso es necessario Libertad !!
    Viva La Libertad para el pueblo Cubano.

    Welling Webmaster
    Welling UK (Reino Unido)

  30. Do not ever trust those who speak about “the masses and the oppresed”..

    Hitler did it, Stalin did it, Mao did, Tito did, Musolini did it, Franco did it, Salazar did it, Batista did it, Strauser did , Duvalier didi it, Peron did it, Fidel did it, Che didi it, Vargas did it, and now Bush and Raul Castro and even poor and deludued Lorenzo are doing it..

    All dictators for whom the masses and the oppressed were their first steps to obtain POWER…

    I prefer to remember Sacco and Vanzetti for died for their love of a libertarian siociety…

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