Cuba

Yoani Sánchez to begin foreign tour in March

 

jcchavez@elnuevoherald.com

Yoani Sánchez, the dissident Cuban blogger who has developed an international following, will begin a series of foreign trips and presentations March 9.

Sánchez, who had repeatedly been denied an exit visa under Cuba’s old travel regime, begins her travels with a trip to the Mexican state of Puebla where she will participate in a forum on the situation inside Cuba and her efforts to combat censorship. It’s part of the Inter American Press Association’s biannual meeting.

In November 2012, Sánchez was named regional vice president for Cuba for the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.

At the end of January, Sánchez received her passport as part of a migratory reform that Cuba instituted Jan. 14. An exit visa and letter of invitation are no longer required for Cubans to travel abroad, but they need to request their passports and, if necessary, obtain entry visas for the countries they want to visit. The new law permits trips abroad of up to 24 months — with the possibility of an extension.

In the past, the Cuban government has not allowed Sánchez to leave the island to pick up dozens of prizes she has been awarded from prestigious institutions in the United States, Latin America and Europe.

Several days ago Sánchez said she may travel to Spain where she received, in absentia, the Ortega and Gasset Prize for digital journalism in 2008, and to Germany. Other possible destinations are Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland where she lived from 2002 to 2004.

The blogger will be in New York March 15-17 for a forum entitled “The Revolution Recodified: Digital Culture and the Public Sphere in Cuba,’’ which is sponsored by a group of cultural and academic institutions, according to the website CaféFuerte. Her U.S. trip also includes a press conference at New York University on March 15, various seminars hosted by academic institutions, a two-day trip to Washington and a private meeting with her sister who lives in South Florida.

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