Post to the sea!

El Guajiro Azul [the Blue Peasant] sent me a text where he tells of his motivations for, and headaches in, writing his blog “Retazos” [Fragments].  The title of his message is delightful: “The old man, the Internet and me.”  Reading it, I feel the strong pull of the hook, but this time the old fisherman may not pull us out of the water where, quasi-free, we swim in the web. 

I could not wait to publish the texts of the blogger conference—delayed by the debacle of the hurricanes but almost done—to bring you the reflections of this forty-something blogger who was born among the sugarcane fields.  Here are the last two paragraphs of the paper presented by the peasant of agile keys and posts as sharp as machetes.

Writing a blog can be frustrating, especially with so many problems in accessing the Internet.  Difficulties are compounded when you live in the provinces.  Time is scarce and expensive.  You have to resend posts and emails that are interrupted when the line goes down.  You can’t go back and fix the minor errors that escaped your notice.  You can’t read or respond to comments.  There is little chance of establishing relationships with other bloggers.  You can’t respond to offers to exchange links.  You are almost completely unable to upload images.  This entire string of impediments leads to a minimalist style that is too sober and visually boring.  It requires great skill for the narrator to write texts that appeal to readers, skill I do not possess.

For these and other reasons, more than once I considered surrendering in the face of adversity, discouraged by the rare visits and the meager comments, oppressed by this new form of non-communication that reminds us of messages in a bottle sent by the shipwrecked.  To paraphrase Ponte, I wondered what makes people continue with their blogs.  Why do this?  For fame?  Money?  To accumulate links?  For recognition now or in the future, if everything stays the same, or if it changes?  Then I go back to basics, the need to say the things I’d like to say.  Deep breath.  Turn off the monitor.  Check on the child.  Arrange the mosquito net.  Have a cup of coffee in the kitchen.  Smoke the last cigarette in the box.  Again, a deep breath, turn on the monitor, and keep typing.

  • We need to give encouragement to this rural blogger to continue posting.  I suggest that you leave a few words of support in the comments section of “Retazos”; they may even be read by the trolls and muchachos of the Cyber Response Brigades who have provided so much traffic and so many hits to Generation Y.



  1. keep going
    keep fighting
    keep writing
    i live for these glimpses into the lives of cubans

    i empathize with the struggle; by following yoani and other bloggers cubano i feel a strange kinship; it encourages me to venture far from the artificial reality of resorts when i return to your country

    each time i learn something new; something to lift my spirits and break my heart

    siga yendo
    siga luchando
    siga escribiendo
    vivo para estas vislumbres en las vidas de cubanos

    siento empatía con la lucha; por yoani siguiente y otro bloggers cubano siento un parentesco extraño; esto me anima a arriesgarme lejos de la realidad artificial de recursos cuando vuelvo a su país

    cada vez aprendo algo nuevo; algo para levantar mis espíritus y romper mi corazón

  2. “something to lift my spirits and break my heart ”

    wow that was the best way I’ve ever heard anyone describe the feelings I have whenever I travel to Cuba to visit my friends. The first time I left the hotel to accompany these new friends I had made I never would have thought that I’d see the things I saw.
    A country where there’s no gasoline but the cars always run, a place where there’s no food but you’re always full and a place with very little freedom but people are always smiling.

    I have come to love that country, very much. And I feel the same way about this blog.
    It reminds me of why I keep going back.


    ” algo levantar mis bebidas espirituosas y romper mi ”

    guau ésa era la mejor manera oyó nunca cualquier persona describir las sensaciones que tengo siempre que viaje a Cuba para visitar a mis amigos. La primera vez que salí del hotel para acompañar a estos nuevos amigos me tenía hecho nunca habría pensado ese considera las cosas que vi. Un país donde there’ s ninguna gasolina pero los coches funciona siempre, un lugar adonde there’ s ninguna alimento pero you’ re siempre llenos y un lugar con la libertad muy pequeña pero la gente están sonriendo siempre.
    He venido amar ese país, mucho. Y siento la misma manera sobre este blog. Me recuerda porqué guardo el volver.

    gracias Yoani por su blog!
    Y gracias Elizabeth por esa descripción.

  3. Dear Blue Peasant: I ask myself these same questions, but with much less eloquence. Thank you for your words and for reminding me of how difficult it is for you to get your messages out—all the more reason why they are so vital. I appreciate you and your honesty. Bravo!

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