Yoani Sanchez Cuba Freedom
Yoani Sanchez Cuba Freedom
Yoani María Sánchez Cordero
(born September 4, 1975) is a Cuban blogger who has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government.
Sánchez attended primary school during the affluent time when the Soviet Union was providing considerable aid to Cuba. However, her high school and university education coincided with the loss of financial aid to Cuba following the Soviet Union's collapse, creating a highly public educational system and style of living that subsequently left Sánchez with a strong need for personal privacy. Sánchez's university education left her with two understandings; first, that she had acquired a disgust for "high culture", and second that she no longer had an interest in philology, her chosen field of university study.
Sánchez, disillusioned with her home country, left Cuba for Switzerland in 2002, and it was during this time that she became interested in computer science. When she finally returned to Cuba, Sánchez helped to establish Contodos, a magazine that continues to act as a forum for Cuban free expression, and a vehicle for reporting news. Sánchez is best known for her blog, Generación Y (Generation Y); which, despite censorship in Cuba, she is able to publish by e-mailing the blog entries to friends outside the country who then post them online. The blog is translated and available in 17 languages.
Time magazine listed her as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that "under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech". In November 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, wrote that her blog "provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba" and applauded her efforts to "empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology".
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez arrested in mass round-up
Cuban authorities have detained 22 activists—including blogger and regime critic Yoani Sanchez—as the trial of a Spanish politician charged with vehicular manslaughter in the July death of a prominent dissident gets underway.
Cuban authorities arrested 22 opposition activists, including a prize-winning blogger, as the trial of a Spanish politician accused of vehicular manslaughter got underway in Bayamo in eastern Cuba on Friday.
Among those arrested in the round-up was Yoani Sanchez, a 37-year-old writer who has been one of the Cuban regime’s most outspoken critics since 2007, when she started her blog “Generacion Y”, which is often critical of the Cuban government.
The arrests coincided with the start of the trial of Angel Carromero, 27, a Spanish politician who runs the youth wing of his country's ruling Popular Party.
Carromero has been charged with death of prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, who was killed when the car Carromero was driving went off the road and into a tree on July 22. Authorities allege he was speeding.
Carromero's trial is expected to last just one day. He faces up to ten years in prison.
Paya, 60, a long-time opponent of Cuba’s Communist one-party rule, died along with another Cuban dissident who was riding in the rented car.
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Pro-government website Yohandry reported Friday: "The pro-American blogger Yoani Sanchez was arrested today in the city of Bayamo, where she had travelled with the intention of creating a provocation and a media show at Carromero's trial.”
Last week, Sanchez filed a complaint against Cuba with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission saying the authorities there had repeatedly refused to give her permission to leave the country and that she has been unable to leave Cuba since 2007.
In her complaint, Sanchez - who was arrested along with her husband – claimed both had been harassed by the Cuban government, according to her lawyers.
Also arrested was opposition leader Guillermo Farinas, 50, who is famous for having staged numerous hunger strikes.
Like Paya, he is also a past winner of the prestigious Sakharov prize - the European parliament's human rights award.