Cuba,  Freedom of Expression

Yoani Sanchez arrives in Brazil

After finally getting a passport allowing her to travel outside Cuba, the great dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez has arrived in Brazil.

You can follow her blog posts here and her tweets here.

A small group of pro-Castro demonstrators have made a point of trying to harrass and silence her. They blocked the screening of a documentary film about her.

She wrote on her blog about her arrival:

The Recife airport was a place for embraces. I met many people there who have supported me for years in my efforts to travel outside the national borders. There were flowers, gifts and even a group of people insulting me which, I confess, I really enjoyed, because it allowed me to say that I dream that “one day people in my country will be able to express themselves against something publicly like this, without reprisals.” A true gift of plurality for me, coming from an Island they have tried to paint in the monochromatic color of unanimity. Later I also looked at an Internet so fast I could barely understand it, without censored pages and without officials looking over my shoulder at the pages I visit.

I suppose some apologists will insist that the demonstrators were simply exercising their right to free expression. Yeah, right.

Brazil’s most influential magazine, Veja, published a story this weekend alleging that Cuban diplomats were working with Brazilian leftists to organize protests against Sánchez during her stops in the country, where she is expected to stay for a week. “That doesn’t surprise me; it’s part of an information war,” she told the Salvador-based A Tarde newspaper. “Obviously I don’t like it, but I understand that facing this siege is part of my profession.”

After Brazil, Sánchez plans several stops in the United States, with appearances at universities in New York, visits to Google and Twitter offices and time with family in Florida.

As you can see from this video, Yoani reacted to the protests with a dignity that the protesters (most of whom I doubt read her blog) could only dream of possessing.

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