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In New York, as in Cuba, Yoani Sánchez speaks her mind

Fabiola Santiago in The Miami Herald:

In New York, as in Cuba, Yoani Sánchez speaks her mind

NEW YORK — I only knew Yoani Sánchez through her written words.

For six years, I followed her daring reports from inside Cuba, marveled at her groundbreaking exploits on the Internet from the safe distance of my home in Miami, wrote about her — once holding my breath while she sat in a jail cell, hoping my own words would echo and help free her — and now, here she was, sitting across from me at a late-night soiree at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan.

At the dining room table between us, a buffet spread of sandwiches, antipasti and dips had been served. The conversation about family and country in the company of a small group of Cuban Americans and Columbia University faculty flowed like the wine with which we toasted her, mine a Spanish albariño, hers a Chilean reserve red.

The moment was surreal, precious, as unique as this blogger/activist/independent journalist/dissident who has managed to focus — or force, one might say — the world’s attention on the lack of basic freedoms in Cuba. If her popular Generation Y blog, her frequent and fertile tweets and her translated columns are powerful, she’s just as impressive in person, tackling questions from journalists, students and the steady stream of pro-Cuban government characters that appear out of nowhere and disrupt her talks.

“The true thing is that I am here — and I will return” to Cuba,” she said Friday at New York University. “Am I afraid? Yes, I am very afraid.”

She said she’s aware that she is risking her life and expects “a flogging” when she returns to Cuba, but added she hopes the international community will protect her.

Continue reading HERE.

3 comments to In New York, as in Cuba, Yoani Sánchez speaks her mind

  • antonio2009

    This is the kind of Cuban the Miami Herald champions, someone that does not preach violence against Fidel Castro, like Luis Posada, and who calls for ending the embargo. Fabiola Santiago was writing the same gushy articles about the pro-Castro dialgueros back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At least the Herald has consistency and I know what to expect from them.

  • raddoc

    Yoani is not a perfect spokesman for my beliefs nor hopes for Cuba; she is not a fierce pro freedom, pro-democracy, pro-capitalist like me, but I appreciate that she is getting some of our word out and giving higher profile to ears who don't normally listen. Her response to the pro-Castro communist in Brazil who tried to quiet her and slam her was worth the price of admission. She eloquently and elegantly shut them up and exposed the communist hypocrisy. I revelled in that moment.

  • asombra

    The Miami Herald and the people it typically employs are what they are. We cannot change them, but we can refuse to enable or support them, as all Cubans should have done long ago. This includes El Nuevo Herald, which in some respects is even more offensive. If you reward anyone for disrespecting you or screwing you over, you can hardly complain about it, and you are part of the problem. Very simple.