Yoani Sanchez Heads Home to Cuba

Yoani Sanchez. Photo: desdecuba.com

Following 100 day world tour

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez heads home today after an over three month world tour, taking her criticism of the Cuban government/system to several continents. The biggest question is how she will be received by the Havana authorities.

The author of the Generation Y blog, recently changed to the URL lageneracióny.com, departed from Madrid several hours ago.

“It is too early to know what it will bring, what impact it will have,” Sanchez’s husband and fellow dissident, Reinaldo Escobar, told The Associated Press of his wife’s highly-publicized travels. “What awaits her is a lot of work, a lot of responsibility and the possibility to realize her dreams.”

Sanchez, 37, said during her tour that she intends to start up her own news publication in Cuba, something prohibited by the island’s leaders who maintain a highly controlled government press media.

Yoani was able to travel on February 17 under the new Cuban immigration reform, which as of mid-January 2013, removed the need for an exit visa to leave the country, something that the blogger had been denied on some 20 different occasions.

Most analysts believe the government will not immediately arrest Sanchez, who, despite being a household name for many Cubans abroad, is not well known on the island outside of a small segment of the population with Internet access.

Nonetheless the circulating of her critical writings on memory sticks and discs has increased those aware of her in recent years.

During her tour, Sanchez spoke to groups and the media with her vision of Cuban reality in Spain, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Peru, Norway, Holland as well as in New York, Miami and Washington D.C. in the United States, where she also met with high level US government officials.

3 thoughts on “Yoani Sanchez Heads Home to Cuba

  • May 31, 2013 at 7:37 am

    The most important thing about Yoani Sanchez is not what she says, nor the way she says it, but the simple fact she has the courage to do so. That is what the dictatorship fears the most: courage.

  • May 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I agree with you Humberto. Everyone that I talk to in Cuba about Yoani knows who she is. It is weird though. My circle of Cuban friends have a mixture of admiration, annoyance and what seems like typical Cuban envy surrounding Yoani. Although they admire her bravery, they consider her activism will probably come to no positive end for the people and likely end badly for her. As a result, they seemed ‘annoyed’ by her. It is as if to say that her rabble-rousing may only make things worse for them. Finally, when it comes to all the money she has won, my anecdotal survey of Cuban friends presents a measure of envy. After all, she writes about everyday life. The things that most Cubans consider normal and yet she wins hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing so? I have had friends even complain about how there are so many more talented writers in Cuba who go unnoticed while Yoani gets to travel the world. I do agree that her international notoriety should insulate her from harm at least for awhile. I can’t imagine there is a person who will be watched by G2 more than her. If she so much as spits on the sidewalk, she is likely to be arrested. On the other hand, for what it is worth, there is probably no other Cuban alive with the telephone numbers of five US Senators on speed dial in case of an emergency. I wish her well.

  • May 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    “Most analysts believe the government will not immediately arrest Sanchez,
    who, despite being a household name for many Cubans abroad, is not well known on
    the island outside of a small segment of the population with Internet

    I think “most analysts” did not get to see the Cuban “government’s”
    defamation Telenovela “Razones de Cuba” then! Im sure many Cubans on the island
    caught the show which was on prime time and on the main TV channel!

    COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOUNALISTS: For Cuban blogger Sánchez, a government
    ‘distinction’ – By Karen Phillips/CPJ Americas Staff – March 25, 2011

    This week, Sánchez received a very different type of distinction–from the
    Cuban government. She was featured on Monday night’s installment of “Las Razones
    de Cuba” (Cuban Reasons), a state-sponsored TV program and website that
    chronicles perceived threats to the government and singles out independent
    journalists as enemies of the state.

    Monday night’s half-hour program was dedicated to the topic of “Cyberwar.”
    (“Not a war of bombs and weapons, but one of information, communications,
    algorithms, and bytes,” the announcer intoned). About halfway through the
    half-hour broadcast, sinister music announced Sánchez’s appearance, next to the
    word “cybermercenary.” The program went on to list her international accolades
    along with the prize money that accompanied each award. Next came some fuzzy
    footage of Sánchez entering foreign embassies in Cuba. She was criticized for
    having secured an interview with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009.


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