From inside Cuba, a young Cuban blogs Castro's exit

Yoani Sanchez, the voice of "Generaci

Published February 20, 2008 12:40PM (EST)

I haven't been able to get any sleep since three in the morning. The phone began to ring minutes after Granma's webpage published Fidel Castro's latest reflections. I haven't been able to go back to bed since then. It's hard to think with any clarity when I've been up all night, especially since I'm still in the "pinch me to make sure I'm awake" stage. My friends don't help much either, since they assault me with questions, as if anyone on this island could have "answers" to anything.

I have lived all my life with the same president. And not just me, but my mom and dad too -- they were born in '57 and '54 respectively -- they don't remember any president other than the one who resigned today. Various generations of Cubans have never been asked who would govern them. Although we don't have much doubt today of who will be next to occupy the highest office, at least it appears that one person will definitely not be it. Just like in those Alfred Hitchcock (suspense) films, we've now found out, just five days before the elections, that our disciplined representatives (in the General Assembly) will be facing a different ballot, that they will not have to put their mark next to the same candidate's name as always.

Even though I'm exhausted from lack of sleep, I understand that today marks the closing of a circle. It's important to ask whether the new one that also opens today will carry our names, our hopes, or if it will take another 50 years.

For the time being, I close my eyes, and already I feel lighter.


El Marques de Santa Lucia wrote:

Feb 19, 2008 - 21:07

Thanks, Yoa, what joy, I see that you're reacting to our times!!! You say, "they don't remember any president other than the one who resigned today."

Fidel has resigned from two posts: Commander in chief of the army and President of the Council of State, but he hasn't addressed the other two offices he holds, President of the Council of Ministers and First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party.

But it's probably best to sit back and see what happens, cautiously.

Yoarky wrote:

February 19, 2008 -- 21:39

It would be a real shame if Cubans didn't take advantage of this opportunity.

We must take advantage of this fact or there'll be another five decades of the same thing, just accompanied by something else!

ali wrote:

February 19, 2008 -- 21:40

This is a new era for our country. A new era in which uncertainty reigns. We cannot allow that, instead of building a a glorious future for our country, power is simply handed over without our people having a real voice or vote. Pray to God that information reaches the people of Cuba, because it's the only way we'll be free.

Patomas wrote:

February 19, 2008 -- 21:43

Forget it, dear, and sleep tight. So long as Fidel is alive not a single comma in the script will be changed. Raul already said this 18 months ago, that it would be that way out of respect to his brother, and he's not going to be repeating it now and again. He said it, and that's it.

Gabriel wrote:

February 19, 2008 -- 22:31

Personally, I could care less about the unnamed one's retirement.

It's been a long time since he's been relevant; the only truly relevant ones here are the Cuban people, because the future of Cuba is in their hands.

With the unnamed one or without him, Cuba will change, not when the government wants it to, but rather when enough Cubans dare to openly show their discontent with the current situation.

We're waiting for that moment to arrive.

By Salon Staff

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