Yoani Sanchez – who started the first independent blog in Cuba – likes to compare the current situation in her country to a house in the old town of Havana:
- "You stand in front of this house and you're wondering how it still can stand upright. Balconies threaten to fall off, the roof beams are rusted. The facade is stained by long crack from top to bottom. Then comes a hurricane. There are wind, sun and rain, but the house i still standing. Then one day,the owner decides to repair the door. When he presses down the door handle, the whole house collapses."
The recent reforms in Cuba were classified by Sanchez as a strategy of the Castro brothers to maintain their power as long as possible: Although since January 14th 2013 freedom of travel was enacted officially (After 9 years, Sanchez was allowed to leave Cuba for the first time), but, for example, the information monopoly of the government still persists.
For the blogger and media activist with op-ed columns in El Pais, the Huffington Post and taz – die tageszeitung, who wants to oppose the "Myths of the government" with truths, a situation in which she needs to check into the next tourist hotel with foreign exchange for the publication of her next blog post, because there are hardly any private ports in Havana, is untenable.
Freedom of opinion and information are important pillars of modern society. How to reform policy also through the help of blogs is what Yoani Sanchez speaks about at re:publica.
The keynote conversation will be in Spanish and English – with consecutive translation.