Cuban blogger Yusnaby Perez made an epic trip to Miami, FL to talk to Univisions Jorge Ramos on his show Al Punto con Jorge Ramos. The brave 26-year-old has concealed his identity and risked his life in order to show the world what living on the island nation is really like.
Perez, whose real name is Eduardo uses the fictitious name for protection. He made up the name Yusnaby, which stands for U.S. Navy.
At first they [Cuban government] thought I didnt exist; that I was part of the CIA; that I lived in Miami. Now, since Im a little more known they [Cuban government] leave me alone, he told Ramos.
This is how I can give the world a glimpse into what living in Cuba really is like, says Perez, who manages to publish the blog Yusnaby.com.
Living as a young man in Castro’s Cuba
Ramos showed Perez a video he posted on his blog of the streets of Havana and asked the blogger what he sees when he looks at those pictures.
I see a beautiful city; a city that could have been grand. Those ruins and the people without dreams; we can repair the city but what cant be repaired is the damaged minds of the people, he says.
In 1959, Fidel Castro took over the island nation. Cuba was previously known as a thriving tropical paradise and arguably wasted away under Fidels dictatorship. Many Cubans were forced out of their businesses and their property was turned over to the government. Many fled the island with nothing but what they were wearing.
56 years later, Perez says that Barack Obama and the U.S. flag are giving people hope. He posted a picture of a child wearing an Obama t-shirt on his blog. He explained that the day after news broke out that Cuba and the U.S. were normalizing relations the Venezuelan flags were taken down and replaced with American flags.
I dont know where they were but it was an incredible thing, he says.
Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Castro were great friends and Venezuela heavily funded Cuba. Following Chavezs death in 2013, the Miami Herald reported that Cuba would be poor without Venezuelas funding.
The impact of a cutoff will be that the crisis we now have will turn into chaos, because the Cuban government has no other source of financing, Miriam Leiva, a Havana dissident and former Cuban diplomat told the Herald.
In 2013, Havana was getting two-thirds of its domestic oil consumption from Caracas, about 96,000 barrels per day, and paid part of the bill with the overpriced labor of 35,000 Cuban medical personnel, teachers and others working in Venezuela, reported the Herald.
When asked about the future of Cuba, Perez believes the government has no other option than to accept changes as a result of opening relations with the U.S.
I think theyre desperate because now they no longer have Venezuelas help, he says.
When asked if he felt his trip to Miami to talk about Cuba was a sign of U.S. influence on the island, Perez feels its in the islands benefit to not bother his trip. In the long run, he says, no one would be able to criticize Cuba for censoring anyone.
Ramos wrapped up his interview by posing this question; if they were discussing Cuba and it was 10 years later, what would they talking about? Perez feels itll be something having to do with political parties, however his main concern is making sure the island gets to that point first.