Yoani Sanchez Meets with US Vice President Biden

By Café Fuerte

Yoani Sanchez with US Vice-president Biden.
Yoani Sanchez with US Vice-president Biden.

HAVANA TIMES — This Wednesday, in a show of support for Cuban civil society, US Vice-President Joe Biden met in Washington with Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, currently visiting the country for work reasons.

The meeting was confirmed in a Tweet published by the office of the Vice-President, which reported that Biden and Sanchez conversed about the challenges faced by defenders of freedom of expression on the island.

No other details regarding the more than half-an-hour gathering, held in a meeting room adjacent to the Vice-President’s office, were made public. Sanchez reproduced the note in her own Twitter account, without offering any additional information.

Author of the blog Generation Y and a prominent figure of Cuban dissidence, Sanchez traveled to Miami to attend the conference Hispanicize and to receive the Latinovator Award, granted her in acknowledgement of her outstanding activism over social networks.

At the Hispanicize forum held in Miami Beach, Sanchez announced that, in a few weeks’ time, she and 11 journalists will be launching a digital newspaper in Cuba. Though we know it will not have the name of her current blog, she has yet to reveal the name of the site.

Information: A Force for Change

“I am not a career journalist, but journalism is my passion,” said Sanchez before participants at Hispanize. “I believe that information is a force for change and I dream of being part of the staff of a newspaper.”

The articles to be published by Sanchez’ newspaper will be distributed through emails and cell phones, of which there are already two million in Cuba, as well as through other electronic devices like USB drives.

This is 38-year-old Sanchez’ third visit to the United States since Cuban authorities eliminated a number of travel restrictions on the island. The blogger was denied a permit to travel outside the country 28 times before finally being authorized to do so in February of 2013.

Though she had been received by several congress members and high officials of the US Department of State, this is the first occasion in which Sanchez comes into contact with the top leadership of the Executive.

In October, Biden offered Cuba’s dissident movement the most significant accolade since Barack Obama entered office, meeting with Ladies in White leader Berta Solar. Days later, President Obama held a brief meeting in Miami with Soler and activist Guillermo Fariñas, who received the Sakharov Award in 2010.

14 thoughts on “Yoani Sanchez Meets with US Vice President Biden

  • She very specifically said in her interviews, that she is not a U.S. operative nor does she have anything to do with the USAID but wikileaks state the opposite. Is Michael Parmley lying to his superiors in Washington, D.C. or does she routinely lie in her interviews? Both can’t be telling the truth. I asked her on Twitter but her silence is deafening.

  • The difficulty we are having with Yoani Sanchez is that her credibility is waning by the day. Thousands of impoverished, disenfranchised men and women at all her stops handed Yoani Sanchez their last few dollars. And dressing in peasant blouses with puffy sleeves and ankle length, colorful cotton skirts seems more dressing the part than actually being broke.

    I personally asked Yoani why so many accused her of either being a CIA pawn or a USAID operative and she denied having anything whatsoever to do with either agency.

    But now, months later, Edward Snowden’s document releases and wikileaks documents (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=07HAVANA622&q=parmly%20sanchez%20yoani) reveal that Yoani and her husband spent an inordinate amount of time at the Havana home of Chief of US Interests (then Michael E. Parmly). He said that he and his wife, Yoani and her husband spent numerous evenings discussing Yoani’s husband’s upcoming publication.

    He says that her husband was the brains behind their operation and that she would serve as the administrator.

    Yoani’s statements are completely contradicted by documents written by then Chief of US Interests Michael E. Parmly. Could it be that Parmly’s regular update cables to Washington D.C. were all lies? For what purpose?

    Yoani Sanchez and Michael Parmly state the complete opposite from one another. It’s impossible for both to be telling the truth.

    My objection is that Yoani toured the world dressed as a peasant and the public responded emotionally with their wallets. I have asked Yoani Sanchez to either defend or deny it. She remains silent on the matter as does the mainstream media.

    Yoani’s defeaning silence is beginning to worry many who financially supported her purported causes.


  • I met Kerry in the early 1970’s, shortly after he returned from Viet-Nam. Even then, he seemed to be running for office, someone in a BIG HURRY and with BIG PLANS, but who was not a good listener. The office for which he was aiming was, of course, the U.S. Presidency, though at the time I didn’t know this. He was ambitious, but behind this great ambition there was no greater vision about what he hoped to acomplish (save for the amorphous “to serve my country” sort of cliches). He almost made it. If it were not for his ackward manners, his ill-at-ease demeanor and his stilted, pretentios, hectoring delivery, he’d have gotten there. Once there, however, he’d accomplish as little as Obama is accomplishing today, and with a foreign policy characterized by the same lack of imagination as Obama’s. His failure to confront the major international issues of the day (for example, in the dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis, in the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine, in the significance of the Arab Spring) is reminiscent of that of an earlier spokesmen of the Empire, Adlai Stevenson, who wound up his days whoring for the U.S. military-industrial complex at the U.N..

  • The US does not support the dissident movement not in the empire and def not Cubas If that were true there would be a connection from one Afrikan to another or to the hundreds of freedom fighters languishing in US prisons for decades! Get real Obama does not even know who he is, and could care less about Yoani..In fact he passed her on to his AIDE smh! I got better treatment duh!

  • No one has the right to speak about what anyone here thinks or says This is a Cuban blog open to anyone Its about freedom of speech and even though Yoani and i are both Cubans i do not have an respect for her at all She and i have met on occassion she knows who i am and who my fam is and therefore she overstands why we are anti Yoani! As for her appearance she is a peasant with a peasant mentality so?? After all when we speak of freedom its not about looks height weight ni nada! The peasant wants attn she needs that in order to survive And trust me she is no threat to Cuba if she was she would be destroyed and shut up forever If you wish to comment find me at my blog just type my name

  • She is a low life traitor and unfit to do anything but manipulate weak people from outside of Cuba.. Meeting with Joe tells me all i need to know, he is a joke just as she is

  • Are you critical of Ms. Sanchez’ appearance? Really? Are you that shallow? When you say “doomed to fail” does that mean you still believe in the fairy tale of a socialist utopia and the New Man? Do you really believe that as Cuba literally crumbles, there is still hope that things will somehow turnaround and Cuba will rise from the ash heap of socialist disasters? If there is doom anywhere, it is in Havana, not Washington.

  • I agree, there are better writers in Cuba. For example, Ángel Santiesteban-Prats who is currently imprisoned at Lawton Prison Settlement on false charges is a much better writer. Many of his fine essays can be read at his blog, Los hijos que nadie quiso (The Children Nobody Wanted)


  • Oswaldo Paya and Laura Pollan were dissidents of much higher quality and held in greater esteem by the Cuban people. Unfortunately, they are unable to meet with Joe Biden.

    There are dozens more Cuban dissidents held in Cuban prisons and unable to meet with anybody but their jailers.

  • Thanks, I share the same feelings, this also goes for Secretary of State Kerry who can’t blame his 180 degree turn around to age. He began to slip down the slippery slope long time ago. There are better writers in Cuba and Venezuela than this mercenary, but they don’t write or say what we want them to say. Yoani left for Europe for a while (Switzerland) and after being ignored returned to her “prison”!!!!!

  • The quality of individuals that the US government assemble to be their “dissidents” in Cuba is truly laughable. Yoani Sanchez is the best person they can come up with for the face of a democratic Cuba ? No wonder Washington is doomed to fail.

  • What’s the saying? “Birds of a feather flock together.” One of Biden’s principal aides, Jeff Connaughton, who, as a young student idealist, fell under his spell in the late 1970’s and continued working for him, in positions of ever-increasing responsibility for the next 30+ years, became so disillusioned that when he left Capitol Hill in November, 2010 he “flew to Costa Rica and immediately went out for an eight-hour hike. When he came back to his hotel room, he turned on the shower and got in without taking off his clothes, standing under the stream and letting it soak him and soak him until he flet clean.” (p. 295 of “The Unwinding: An Innter History of the New America,” by George Packer c. 2013). He is further cleansing himself of the merde of American politics by volunteering at a local legal services office in Savannah and takes care of dogs from the local animal shelter. Yoani should feel right at home with Joe Biden.

  • This is great news for the cause of democracy in Cuba. Senora Sanchez’ meeting with VP Biden confirms the US administration’s support for the dissident movement. My only concern is for Ms. Sanchez safety. The unscrupulous Castro regime is not likely to ignore this meeting and is likely to seek to punish Yoani is some way.

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