Dissident blogger returns to Cuba

2013-05-31 10:30
Cuban opposition blogger Yoani Sanchez speaks with the press outside a Migration Office. (Adalberto Roque, AFP)

Cuban opposition blogger Yoani Sanchez speaks with the press outside a Migration Office. (Adalberto Roque, AFP)

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Havana - Leading Cuban opposition blogger Yoani Sanchez returned home on Thursday from a three-month, around the world tour which she used as a platform for levelling harsh criticism against Havana's communist regime.

"It was a wonderful journey - a journey that will change my life in many ways," the dissident said of her trip to Latin America, the US and Europe.

Sanchez, 37, told reporters at the airport terminal after arriving on a flight from Spain that she returns to Cuba "with many projects" that she hopes to undertake.

Sanchez, whose travels began with a stop in Brazil on 17 February, was greeted at the airport by her husband Reinaldo Escobar and a dozen dissidents.

She was allowed to travel outside Cuba because the government in January lifted a much-loathed restriction that forced people to get exit visas to leave the country.

Her 103-day trip received support from politicians, newspaper editors and Cuban immigrants in the US state of Florida who are opposed to President Raul Castro's government. But her travels were also criticised by some activists in Brazil and Mexico.

And an official blogger here who goes by the name Yohandry Fontana was quick to lash out at her travels.

"Today was the arrival to #Cuba of Yoani Sanchez, the vacationer who received 90 days of training to overthrow the island's government," Yohandry tweeted.

"They say that this tour gave Yoani Sanchez 100 000 followers and $300 000 in cash. How much was donated to schools and hospitals in #Cuba?"

In Cuba, all opposition is illegal and the government accuses dissidents of being "mercenaries" paid by the US.
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