Blogostroika: Yoani Sánchez tours U.S.

Blogostroika: Yoani Sánchez tours U.S.
via Wikipedia

Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez shows us that one woman can make a difference.

Sánchez, 37, has used her blog, Generation Y, and Twitter as tools to criticize the Cuban government and write about the struggles of life in Cuba.

It is the first time the government has allowed her to leave Cuba since 2004. She has embarked on an 80-day world tour and will visit 17 countries.

She went to Brazil in February where some supporters of communism threw fake dollar bills at her.

In Mexico, she met with journalists who risk their lives reporting on the drug cartels.

She was in Washington, D.C. and New York last week. Now she is in Miami.

On Monday her talk at Miami Dade College's Freedom Tower at 1 p.m. CST will be live streamed.

Her talk at Florida International University at 6:30 p.m. CST also will be streamed here.

Sánchez's blog receives around 15 million hits a month and has been translated into 20 languages. Her work has been dubbed "blogostroika."

Her critics have accused her of being an agent of the U.S. government.

But she opposes the U.S. embargo and travel restrictions to Cuba. She has said the embargo just gives the Castro brothers an excuse for their failures, according to the New York Times.

Reading her blog one finds detailed reflections on life and politics in Cuba.

She could have defected to Switzerland where she lived from 2002 to 2004. But she decided to go back to Cuba for family reasons. But she lost her Cuban residency because she was out of the country for more than 11 months, according to The Miami Herald.

Eventually after living in legal limbo the Cuban government agreed to give her Cuban residency again.

Sánchez has been followed, harassed, detained and even physically beaten up for her work in Cuba, according to The Telegraph.

In Cuba, where most people have limited to no access to the Internet because it is controlled by the government, she is barely known.

“I live in a country that has a monopoly on information, so when a Cuban is saying critical things about the government,” from outside the country, Sánchez told The New York Times. "The biggest challenge is how to get that information out to your compatriots on the island.”

It's unusual that the government would allow her to leave Cuba when she is one of its best known critics.

Hopefully, more people will learn about real life in Cuba and that voices like Sánchez's will not be silenced.

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