From The Crows Nest…..It was supposed to be so easy.

Blogging is easy. Fact. Just think of absolutely anything that you feel the need to get off your chest and tell those around you online. You can set up an account with or and shout about your oh-so important musings within minutes. It’s even a bit hip to have a blog. Steven Fry and Lily Allen are an example of celebrities who have recently confessed their penchant for writing their very own ‘cyber-monologue’. And I have been thinking, if it’s so easy to blog, what’s so special about it. I guess, in light of the following, it’s this; Freedom of Speech.
I sure as hell take being able to outlay my tinpot little views for granted far too often. So I have been fascinated to hear about the two following stories:
Internet traffic is still tightly constrained in Cuba. Yet a couple of Cuban bloggers profiles have recently emerged who have been posting thoughts about their lives and their country for those outside of the island. Yet if they are caught, it could cost them dearly.
Yoani Sanchez has to disguise herself as a tourist so she can sneak into tourist hotels & use their unfiltered Internet access to run her site, which is hosted in Germany. Readers outside Cuba can very easily follow Sanchez’s blog, yet how fellow Cubans gain access to her site and leave messages is unclear, as Cuba is famed as one of those most isolated telecommunications networks in the world.
In light of ol’ Fidel bowing out as El Presidente for nigh-on 50 years, his brother Raul Castro’s office appears to be a little more citizen-friendly. Up until Raul took over a short while ago, you could only purchase computers, cell phones, and other certain electronics on the black market, but now they are available in numerous shops.
On an even more alarming note, Fouah al-Farhan, a Saudi Arabian blogger, was imprisoned for his views. Pleasingly however, it has been reported that he has been released after four months in jail.
In his homeland, he has landed the moniker “godfather of bloggingâ€?, even taking the brave steps of being the first blogger in that country to write under his own name. As the country is an absolute monarchy, many freedoms for press, public speech, and assembly are non-existent. His original detention was not reported to the outside world for three weeks, and word may never have got out if it wasn’t for action taken by his pals. Mr. Farhan said he was treated fairly whilst serving his sentence. He said he would be back to the blogging, describing his experiences in particular, very soon.
In summary, whilst things aren’t a bed of roses for those wanting to blog over in distant shores, there are clear signs of it improving so they can cling to the great hope of free speech to help shape their future. I guess we are pretty damn lucky to be able to have the choice to speak our mind. So with that, get blogging!

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