Celebration / Yoani Sánchez

On days like this I very much regret not having an Internet connection to share so much happiness with the commentators on the blog. Clacking keyboards, drinking toasts screen to screen, and thanking all of you who have supported me with your words of encouragement, your critiques and your suggestions.

Three years ago that shy woman — who I once was — opened this virtual space to narrate her reality, with more fears than certainties. I remember the incredulity of the readers at first, the doubts of some, the State Security or CIA card others assigned me, the slip ups on the arduous journey of opinion. From 2007 until now I feel I have lived six or seven lives at once, full of achievements but also marked by constant coercion from a repressive apparatus that never sleeps.

As I am a chronic optimist, however, I’m only going to focus on the satisfactions: the growing alternative blogosphere, the cracks that have opened in the wall, the Podcast I just inaugurated a few weeks ago, and all the text messages I’ve received to congratulate me on the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Hero Award, and today, the great surprise of the 2010 Prince Claus Award.

September 6, 2010