Given all the international attention that the global trek of Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez has been generating over the past few weeks and is likely to continue to generate as she makes her way back and forth across the Atlantic and north and south traversing the Western Hemisphere with stops planed in Argentina, Peru, Mexico, the United States, and Canada, I thought I'd share with my readers the following essay (PDF in English or in Spanish) that I wrote in 2010 trying to answer the question:
It is an effort to search for the origins of the emergent Cuban blogosphere, focusing specifically on the backstory and birth of Sánchez's blog, Generación Y, and its development and growth over time.
This paragraph, extracted from the second page of the long essay (53 pp. in the English version and 42 in the Spanish) summarizes its main argument:
This essay will chronicle of the origins and ongoing development of Sanchez’s blog, Generación Y, focusing on these two important transformations that have grown out of its evolution: A gradual change from a limited project of individual exorcism to one of growing citizen solidarity, together with an increasingly audacious effort to convert virtual spaces for dialogue and debate so far restricted to e-mail and blogs into real, public spaces - be they in Cuba’s conference rooms, movie houses, and art galleries, or in its cafés, calles, and solares.The essay was first published under the title, "En busca de la 'Generación Y': Yoani Sánchez, la blogósfera emergente y el periodismo ciudadano de la Cuba de hoy," in the book Buena Vista Social Blog: Internet y libertad de expresión in Cuba, edited by Beatriz Calvo Peña. You can consult the entire table of contents here and order your own copy of the book for €18.90 here. (I don't get a cut).