On Nov. 29, 2005, I posted the first entry on this blog, promising my opinions and observations on a variety of topics.
Within weeks, I was writing almost exclusively about Cuba, as Uncommon Sense quickly evolved from what I, in a fit of hyperbole, called a "grand experiment" to what, it is entirely accurate to say, is still one of the few English-languarge repositories about Cuban political prisoners; the repression of human rights on the island; the efforts of brave Cubans to resist that repression; and related topics.
Uncommon Sense is not comprehensive -- recording the entire depth and breadth of repression in Cuba is too big a job for one blogger with other professional and personal responsibilities and a limited command of Spanish. But I am proud of what I have accomplished. What you see, I am confident to say, is on most days, my best effort.
I am grateful for everyone who reads this blog, and for the friendships it has helped foster -- including with many I have never met, except through comments, tweets, emails, etc. That support and feedback have been invaluable as I try to make Uncommon Sense as good as it can be.
Blogging about Cuba has allowed me personal experiences I never imagined when I started. I have spoken twice about Cuban political prisoners and human rights activists at rallies in Ybor City in Tampa, on the same streets where Jose Marti in the late 1800s gathered support for Cuban independence.
And I have received personal thanks from former political prisoners I profiled here. As a newspaper reporter and editor, I have experienced a lot, but none of it has been rewarding as the moment last April when I shared a warm embrace with one of those former prisoners, Jorge Luis Gonzalez Tanquero.
Whether Uncommon Sense and the stories I have shared has made a difference, I will let others decide. I just try to tell stories the best way I know how, and to do my small part, as a journalist, as an American and as a Cuban, for a free Cuba.
As always for most of the past six years, this blog remains dedicated to those Cubans in the Cuba who despite great odds against them, choose to actively oppose the Castro dictatorship, whether as independent journalists, human rights and democracy activists or as political prisoners. Their courage and determination are inspiring and give me faith and hope that their cause, the cause of freedom, will one day prevail in Cuba.
-- Marc R. Masferrer, Nov. 27, 2011.