Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Bloggers' Polemic (1): Reflecting on a Year of Rigorous Debate

During the past year of 2011 the Cuban blogosphere has really come into its own, developing a depth and breadth that has made it a force to be reckoned with.

Much well deserved international media attention (along with an outpouring of unsurprising Cuban government attacks) have focused on Yoani Sanchez's Generation Y and the related group blogging portal Voces Cubanas (English).  At the same time, many other collective cyber-projects have appeared and attracted followings of their own.  Among these, the most notable are the maturing and deepening of Havana Times, the relaunching of BloggersCuba (along with the companion site Bubusopia run jointly by Yasmin Portales and Rogelio Diaz), and the dynamic and lengthy comments section of the La Joven Cuba blog.

A number of important new individual cyber-voices and sites have also appeared in the last year to year-and-a-half, including Eduardo del Llano's blog, that of Silvio Rodriguez, Larry Press' The Internet in Cuba, Arch Ritter's The Cuban Economy, Ernesto Morales' Little Brother blog (now done from his new home in Miami), the appearance of El Sexto, as well as the not-to-miss Cafe Fuerte site, Emilio Ichikawa's blog, Tracey Eaton's vital Cuban Money Project and Vimeo sites (complementing his Along the Malecon), The Center for Democracy in the Americas Cuba Central blog with its excellent weekly news blast roundup, John McAuliff's Cuba-US People-to-People Partnership site, Estado de SATS entry into cyberspae with its own blog, and the recent redesign of the indispensable Penultimos Dias.

Finally, Ellery Biddle, Janine Mendes-Franco, and Elaine Diaz have made the Cuba page at Global Voices a source of keen observation and analysis. And the official blogosphere has also added a new voice with the addition of Iroel Sanchez's La Pupila Insomne.

Some of this activity is covered by Julia Cooke in her recent article at Guernica magazine, "Bloggers of Havana."

During the month of January, readers of El Yuma can look forward to a series of posts here where I reflect on the emergence of the Cuban blogosphere and trace the ups and downs of the "Bloggers Polemic" that ignited across Cuban cyberspace during the year.

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