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 US.
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.”