Famed Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez coming to Freedom Tower in April


Famed Cuban dissident and blogger Yoani Sánchez, who was allowed to leave the island this week, will visit Miami on April 1.

Sánchez will speak at the historic Freedom Tower, Miami Dade College announced on Tuesday. The college owns the tower.

Sánchez is currently on tour in Brazil as is expect to make stops.

Sánchez’s visit to the Freedom Tower is significant because the 1925 building is well-known to Cuban exiles as the place where many of them were processed upon their arrival in the U.S.

Sánchez’s ability to travel outside Cuba this week was seen as a test of a new Cuba law that eliminates the exit permit that had been required of islanders for five decades. Cuban authorities can still deny travel in cases of defense and “national security,” among other reasons, and some dissidents continue to face restrictions.

Still, the exit permit’s demise is seen as one of the most significant reforms of President Raúl Castro’s ongoing plan to refashion some elements of the economy, government and society.

In her first days of travel, Sánchez was heckled by Cuban government sympathizers. She plans to travel several cities during an 80-day tour of Latin America, Europe and the U.S.

Brazil’s most influential magazine, Veja, published a story this weekend alleging that Cuban diplomats were working with Brazilian leftists to organize protests against Sánchez during her stops in the country, where she is expected to stay for a week.

“That doesn’t surprise me; it’s part of an information war,” she told the Salvador-based A Tarde newspaper. “Obviously I don’t like it, but I understand that facing this siege is part of my profession.”

After Brazil, Sánchez plans several stops in the U.S. with appearances at universities in New York, visits to Google and Twitter offices and now a stop in Miami.

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