“I believe that the fundamental problem of the Cuban youth today - an issue even the government had to publicly acknowledge, even launching a campaign to raise some awareness regarding that - is the loss of values. The ideal of the young man they had created, the so-called 'New man' represents a man not being able to meet the expectations of the civilized society. Here, the boys, the youngsters, have their goals set on banal, superficial things. Right now, if you ask any young person in Cuba what their utmost desire is, the first thing they will tell you is going to be: 'to leave the country'. The Cuban youth want to leave. To look for the things elsewhere, s that the Government does not allow here, because of the economy, or out of paranoia. To look for the world, where you could just have a beer. Where you could have one beer and still be able to buy a pair of shoes. where food is accessible, where drinking a beer is not a problem. These are the things they want to look for. To leave. To live. As this country steals people's lives, it steals their youth. As looking at the life of someone in his fifties or sixties, shortly before retiring, this is shat you see he has been working in a lime processing plant for his whole life, or in a can manufacturing plat... But what does he have?' And when he tells you he has nothing at all... The young people just can´t imagine that something like that could be solved here. So the solution is to leave. As if you would stay, you could also end up being beaten to death.”
"They need to show the world that the artists, the intellectuals, the people involved in culture... They need to show the masses that all these people have been supporting that government of theirs. All those May Day marches... Everyone knows that you just had to go there and what would happen if you wouldn´t attend. They need to show the world that the intellectuals and the people involved in culture support them so they could hold on to their position as a government. That´s why they have been forcing the best artists to serve them for their purposes. And anyone who would refuse simply wouldn´t show up on TV any more and the radios wouldn´t play his records. , And that´s something no artist would like to happen.”
“When I was a child, I used to go on vacation to Havana with my mother, to my aunt's house, my mother’s sister. And looking back... Oh, what a beauty it was! ! We would arrive by train, all fresh, there was the bay, such a charming moment. But the time went by, and I also got to know the dark side of Havana, its nocturnal face, when the demons roam the streets. I got to know the Havana´s dark underbelly. And Havana has left a mark on me. Today, I am the way I am and I think how I think due to that, for having known the dark side of Havana. This made me realise many things.”
“I lived the Special Period [extended period of economic crisis in Cuba] as a child, which was especially difficult in terms of the nourishment of children. Because at that time, there was no food. I saw how much my mother had to suffer, struggling just to bring some ordinary food on the table for me and my sister, in our miserable house made of wooden boards, that were warping like pages in a book when it was raining. And at that time I left for Havana, looking for some new horizon, as I just wanted to get out, maybe to get a bit naughty, to do just anything so I could buy myself some clothes and a pair of shoes, as I couldn´t afford anything like that, and my mother just couldn´t buy me such things."
Cuba steals people’s lives. It steals their youth.
Yanier Joubert Cisneros was born on February 15, 1981, in Guantanamo, Cuba. Shortly after the so-called ‘Special Period’ had begun, he went to Havana to look for work. Later, while working in the Varadero Beach area, he discovered special tourist zones to which Cubans were not allowed entry. In the years 2000-2002, he did his compulsory military service. Until 2004 he participated in the House of the Young Creator (Casa del Joven Creador), supporting the youth in their creative development. He has always been strongly involved in the musical field; he had been performing with the Che Cubano musical trio, and until today, he has been involved in urban music such as rap or reggaeton. After joining the opposition, he was a member of the November 30 Party (Partido 30 de noviembre), later joining the Eastern Democratic Alliance and finally becoming the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) branch in Guantanamo. As a freelance journalist, he started his career in the Palenque Vision project, later joining the Huellas de Cuba project. Nowadays, he has been living in Guantanamo, still being involved in political activism.