02/22/13 - MERCO PRESS - Cuban dissident wants an end to US economic embargo and close down
Famed Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez defended before the Brazilian Congress
the end of the US economic embargo and called for the closing down of the
US Guantanamo military base.
"I want the embargo over to see how the Cuban government is going to
explain to the people its failure", said Sanchez during a meeting with
members of Congress, before the exhibition of the documentary
"Cuba-Honduras Connection" from the Brazilian film maker Dado Galvao.
The film could not be aired last Monday in the Santana Audiovisual Fair in
the northeast city of Bahia because of the protests from supporters of the
Castro brothers' regime in Cuba, that also were present when the Cuban
dissident landed in the airports of Recife and Salvador.
On Guantanamo, the US base in Cuban territory and which is used by
Washington as a terrorists' prison, Sanchez said her position was that of
any common citizen contrary to military outposts and torture.
Sanchez was invited to the Brazilian congress by lawmaker Otavio Leite, a
member of the main opposition party PSDB (Social Democracy) and among those
she discussed politics with was Senator Aecio Neves, considered one of the
strongest Brazilian presidential hopefuls for 2014.
Brazil was the first stop of the Cuban blogger in her eighty days tour of
several countries in the Americas and Europe.
"I will be visiting all those countries thanks to the solidarity of many
little people just like me", said Sanchez who arrived at Congress carrying
a Brazilian flag.
Despite security measures, some demonstrators waited outside Congress in
Brasilia with Cuban flags and posters of dollar bills to protest the
presence of Sanchez whom they described as a 'mercenary' working for the
Yoani Sanchez became world famous with her blog "Generation Y", which won
several journalism and human rights prizes in different countries, but was
unable to collect them because of travel restrictions in Cuba.
However since the implementation of the migratory reform last 14 January,
the blogger was allowed to travel overseas. Before, she had been denied on
twenty occasions' permission to leave Cuba.
Sanchez also announced that she would receive a visa to enter Argentina
which so far has been denied because of "complications and procedural
delays from the Cuban bureaucracy".
"This is great news," Sánchez said after being asked about her Argentine
visa application. In an interview the blogger explained that because the
Argentine consulate in Havana receives many visa applications, the
Argentine ambassador in Brazil, Luis María Kreckler had told her that there
wasn't any problem.
"In Havana, probably due to bureaucratic issues, it was difficult to obtain
the visa with the time I had," said Sánchez .
When asked if she would finally visit Argentina, Sánchez responded "Yes,
I'm going. All that is left to do is figure out the exact dates. I'm
organizing my trip schedule, but I believe I will soon be there."
The renowned 37-year-old blogger, when referring to the objective of her
world tour, remarked "I have an academic motive and also a professional,
journalistic interest, which is to write over what I see and learn about
the journalism that is being done throughout the world so I can bring back
the experiences to Cuba."
Sánchez also said that she had many personal reasons to visit, such as to
visit the people that had written to her over the years: "More than five
years have passed since I began asking permission to travel and I received
a total of 20 rejections. But finally, the immigration issue is longer a
problem for me and I am now enjoying the moment."
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