by Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Jan 5 — Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez says she and the rest of the Cuban population are virtual prisoners due to the mandatory exit visa the government requires in order to leave the island.
Sanchez has won several hundred thousand dollars in prizes for her writing on the Generation Y blog but has been unable to attend the awards ceremonies in a host of countries.
In her latest attempt to travel from Cuba, Sanchez wants to attend a premiere next month in Bahia, Brazil of a documentary about journalism in Cuba and Honduras. The blogger participated in the Cuban segment of the film.
Sanchez, 36, says she been denied an exit visa to travel off the island 19 times in less than a decade, despite not having a criminal record.
The government controlled media has portrayed Yoani as a dangerous enemy of the Cuban revolution but no charges have ever been brought against her.
In a new tactic to try and get the Cuban authorities to budge on her exit permit, Sanchez made a You Tube video plea to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, trying to get that country’s leader to intercede on her behalf with the Raul Castro administration in Havana.