HAVANA TIMES — Opposition Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who last week received a passport and will soon travel to Brazil, says she wants to convey to the world the idea that the island “is ready to enter the 21st century,” reported DPA news.
“There’s a desire for freedom, a desire for change,” said the blogger, in an exclusive interview published today by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
According to Sanchez, the relaxation of economic restrictions led by President Raul Castro “isn’t enough and this is also causing frustration because they aren’t bringing political reforms.” Nevertheless, she added: “These have whetted people’s appetites. We want more.”
“I’m feeling an effervescence now, that ‘enough is enough.’ I live on a diverse and wonderful island, which also has the right to a future. It’s an island that isn’t red or olive green. It’s has many other colors,” she added.
The dissident, who thanks to immigration reform effective since January 14 finally received a passport after 20 unsuccessful exit visa applications, reported on Twitter recently that she now has a visa to visit Brazil.
Sanchez hopes to land on February 18 in the northeastern state of Bahia, where she will participate in the presentation of the documentary Conexion Cuba>Honduras, by Brazilian film-maker Dado Galvao, in which she is one of the interviewees.
“I’m feeling an effervescence now, that ‘enough is enough.’ I live on a diverse and wonderful island, which also has the right to a future. It’s an island that isn’t red or olive green. It’s has many other colors.”
“I’m just going to shout ‘Ahhhh!” when I get on the plane. But at this point, to stop me (from traveling) would be too high a political cost,” said Sanchez, who said she’s also asking for visas to enter the United States and the European Union. In addition, she plans to do the same soon at the embassies of Argentina and Peru.
The blogger and philologist said that receiving a Cuban passport generated “a bittersweet sensation,” adding, “It shouldn’t be news that a person can have a passport and board a plane.”
“It saddens me that my country is an anomaly. Cuba is regularly irregular. It saddens me greatly that some people won’t receive one, like the two prisoners of conscience who’ve been denied passports,” she said.
For the blogger, the decision by Cuban authorities to allow her to travel was due to “pressure, inside and out” and also because of her “legal tenacity.” As she explained, “Although some people even said I was playing a ridiculous role by insisting on my right to leave, I have transformed my case into an emblematic example of the limitation of movement by Cubans.”
When asked whether the Cuban government is seeking to show that its reforms “are real and advancing” by granting her a passport, Sanchez said that if this is true, it was “a bad political move.”
“It’s dangerous propaganda, if that was the idea, because I’ll behave like a free person. I’ll say everything I think and I’ll try to be a world ambassador of the desire of Cubans for freedom. If the thought was ‘let her out to see if she shuts up,’ it was a bad political move,” said Sanchez.