Yoani Sanchez won the Spanish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, but her government wouldn't allow her to leave the country to receive it.
Blogger Yoani Sanchez had just found out that she had won an 2008 Ortega y Gasset award – essentially the Pulitzer prize of Spanish journalism – and she was nervous. Would Cuban officials give her the exit visa to fly to Madrid and accept the prize for digital journalism?
At a cafe in Havana, as she talked about the origins of her blog and the risks she takes chronicling daily life in Cuba, she seemed distracted. No wonder; at that moment her husband was standing in a line at a government office seeking instructions on the proper visa protocol.
Ms. Sanchez's no-nonsense – and often contentious – slices of life that she posts on her blog Generaci?n Y (www.desdecuba.com/generationy/) have suddenly catapulted her into the world spotlight.
On a recent post, she talks about the wave of Cubans rushing to prove their Spanish heritage in order to gain citizenship in Spain amid "a lack of expectations and material hardship" in Cuba. With irony and wit, she mocks the tangle of Cuban bureaucracy, the senseless privation of its citizens, and the way the state media views all of it through rose-colored glasses. Her entries are translated into English, French, Italian, German, and Polish.