Our First Day / 14ymedio

14ymedio is blocked in Cuba within a few minutes of its birth

14ymedio, Havana | May 22, 2014

At 8:20 in the morning on Wednesday, 21 May, this digital daily was born. Like a miracle, everything worked as we had hoped. A greeting signed by several personalities from the media and literature welcomed us. Two Nobel Prize winners, Lech Walesa and Mario Vargas Llosa, headed the list of signatories. The news of the appearance of a new medium immediately popped up in the publications of several countries and generated large displays of solidarity.

A few minutes later, when someone tried to enter from the Cuban networks, instead of our homepage another web page appeared. The attack consisted of redirecting our URL to another site where one could only read texts dismissing and insulting Yoani Sánchez. Sadly, the information on our site was supplanted on the Island by the tactics of personal rejection used so often in the official discourse.

It doesn’t take much imagination to discover the identity of the aggressors but, as we have no proof, we can only conjecture that it is someone with the technological resources, access permissions and prior information, rather than animosity.

Throughout the day the telephone calls and text messages from friends congratulating the newborn never ceased. When it had already been twelve hours since someone somewhere in the world first clicked on to read us, a group of collaborators and the entire 14ymedio team celebrated the occasion watching on the screen as the pages opened through an anonymous proxy. In this way, with the PDF version and the email bulletin, we will be read in our own country. Censorship is not the most difficult obstacle we have to overcome.

Blocking 14ymedio could become a failed strategy if the objective is to silence us. Nothing is more attractive than the prohibited.