Reporters Without Borders 100 Information Heroes: Angel and Yoani

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.46.47 PMANGEL SANTIESTEBAN-PRATS
Cuba / The Americas
His blog is called “Los hijos que nadie quiso” (The children no one wanted). The writer and netizen Ángel Santiesteban-Prats has been held for more than a year for openly criticizing the “dictator” Raúl Castro, as he calls him. Convicted on trumped-up charges of “home violation” and “injuries” in a summary trial on 8 December 2012, he was sentenced to five years in prison. In April 2013, he was transferred to a prison in the Havana suburb of San Miguel del Padrón where he has been subjected to mistreatment and acts of torture. His novel “El verano en que Dios dormía” (The summer God slept) received the 2013 Franz Kafka Drawer Novel* Prize, awarded in Prague to unpublished Cuban novels.

Cuba / The Americas
A philologist by training, Yoani Sánchez is a celebrity in her own country and internationally. Time Magazine ranked her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2008. Her Generación Y blog, launched in 2007 with the aim of “helping to build a plural Cuba,” covers the economic and social problems that ordinary Cubans constantly face. Like other bloggers, she has been subjected to varied insults (such as “contemptible parasites”), intermittent blocking and judicial harassment. In early 2014, she announced her intention to create an independent collective media platform in Cuba. “The worst could happen on the first day, but perhaps we will sow the first seeds of a free press in Cuba,” she said.

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*Translator’s note: Many have asked about the meaning of “Drawer Novel”; it refers to novels sitting in a drawer because censorship prevents their being published.

29 April 2014