Yoani Sanchez. Photo:wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES – Dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez begins a series of appearances in Miami on Monday April 1, as part of her global tour that began in February.

For many, the most symbolic stop on Sanchez’s tour is without a doubt the Cuban exile capital, notes dpa news.

Around 1.5 million Cubans live in Miami, where most exile positions range from moderate to radical anti-Castro, from veterans who wanted to overthrow Fidel Castro’s revolution by arms to younger less ideological twitter users denouncing the lack of freedoms on the island.

There are also those, much smaller in number, who support the Cuban government.

Sanchez’s image has been portrayed in a mural of the emblematic Calle Ocho alongside other icons of Cuban culture, which speaks of the majority support she has in the US city, reported dpa.

“I feel like in Cuba, but free,” Sanchez said on Thursday upon her arrival in Miami, where she is spending several days with relatives and friends before making her first of several appearances in public on Monday.

“We fought in a different arena than Yoani to establish democratic principles in our country. However, we support any expression against the oppressive and undemocratic regime that governs Cuba,” notes the veterans association, whose members landed on Cuban shores on April 16, 1961 in an attempt to overthrow the new government of Fidel Castro.

Yoani will give a conference at the emblematic Freedom Tower, where she will receive an award for her commitment to human rights..

The radical rightwing exile faction, Vigilia Mambisa, which favors a hard-line policy with Cuba under the Castros, canceled the protest it had initially planned against Sanchez visit, but said they will still show their disagreement with her position supporting a lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

“Yoani Sanchez has become an icon of freedom of expression and civil rights for all Cubans,” said Ramon Saul Sanchez, president of the Democracy Movement. He emphasized that the visit of the activist in Miami means a lot.

“The visit is very symbolic, not only the political, but the sentimental. She wants to know firsthand the opinions of this part of the Cuban people who have lived abroad,” he added, noting that exiles “feels very identified with her.”

The president of the Democracy Movement believes that Yoani Sanchez belongs to a new group of young Cuban leaders “bringing the world a peaceful, moderate, very believable message.”

“We have entered a new extra-national dimension,” said Ramon Sanchez, who gives part of the credit to the blogger.

“I feel like in Cuba, but free,” Sanchez said on Thursday upon her arrival in Miami, where she is spending several days with relatives and friends before making her first of several appearances in public on Monday.

Adding to the support of “Democracy Movement”, comes the endorsement of Sánchez visit by the Association of Bay of Pigs Veterans (Brigade 2506), a radical, emblematic historic Cuban exile group that considers Yoani a “fighter for democracy and human rights.”

Although discrepancies exist, the argument that the enemy of my enemy is my friend holds strong.

“We want to show that as free men and women we can, respectfully, have our differences, but we are united by something sublime: our homeland Cuba,” said the association.

Brigade 2506 is part of the historic exile community, traditionally a supporter of armed conflict and coercive measures against the Castro government.

“We fought in a different arena than Yoani to establish democratic principles in our country. However, we support any expression against the oppressive and undemocratic regime that governs Cuba,” notes the association of veterans who landed on Cuban shores on April 16, 1961 in an attempt to overthrow the new government of Fidel Castro.


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