'The Lives of Us’ – or how one story of snooping is the same as others

Material from Team Observers.

In a country where the media is completely state-owned, this young Cuban blogger is extremely brave. In this post, she talks about the release of the Academy Award-winning German film, ‘The Lives of Others'. Set in Communist East Germany in the mid-1980s, the film tells the story of a Stasi agent assigned to monitor an East-German playwright suspected of subversive intellectual pursuits. The film details the alarming efficiency of the East German snooping machinery, including bugs planted in apartments and around-the-clock monitoring of a suspect's private life.

But for Yoani, the film is not so much about ‘the lives of others' as it is the lives of people she knows - as well as her own - in Castro's Cuba.

Post your questions to Yoani Sánchez.

I took this photo last Saturday in the queue to see the premier of ‘The Lives of Others' at the Acapulco cinema. I don't think the cinema had ever such a commotion. The people outside were shouting ‘open up!' at the closed doors. The film was released as part of the South American New Cinema Festival. The storyline wasn't far from things that happen here. We renamed it, ‘The Lives of Us'. The story could have well been that of a neighbour or a close friend. It proved to us that our suspicions are not signs of neurosis or paranoia, but sure evidence of a secret espionage system.

For the people who managed to see the film, Weisler (the Stasi spy) could just as well have been our ‘Carlos' or ‘Eric'. Weisler's way of tapping the telephone, perversely listening to private conversations; these are techniques that the Stasi share with our Interior Ministry

I realised a long time ago that the best way to avoid the secret service is to say everything you think and know aloud. Talk loudly. State your real name. Don't conceal anything, and spies' work gets pretty hard. Let's save them their long hours spent listening to secret recordings, the money spent on petrol getting them from A to B, and their long Internet searches for ‘outspoken' voices."




It is also "the lives of

It is also "the lives of us-chinese citizens"

I thought Yoani's posting

I thought Yoani's posting was very courageous if - as she says - the film could be renamed "The Lives of Us". It was very chilling to think that she will almost certainly be targeted for writing this. I particularly liked her comment: "Talk loudly. State your real name." This is so true because it is often the silent ones who disappear first (easy targets). Keep up the good work!

This site is very good in as much as it reveals stories from people who are at the heart of the issue, not just those viewing from he safety of the sidelines.

Don't you think that the

Don't you think that the cuban government has other things to take care of? The US embargo is killing this country. For the cuban government, feeding his people comes first. Freedom of expression is a problem of rich coutries. And anyway, she's not in jail, is she?