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Cuban blogger faces protests during Brazil tour

(Index on Censorship/IFEX) - One of the most prominent free-speech Cuban activists, Yoani Sánchez arrived in Brazil on Sunday (17 February) for a round of conferences and events in the northeastern state of Bahia and federal capital Brasília.

On Monday 18 February, Sánchez was at Feira de Santana (in Bahia) where she would attend a presentation of a documentary about the Cuban regime, but the violence of the protestors caused the event to be cancelled.

The demonstrators accused Sánchez's blog Generación Y of spreading anti-Cuban propaganda. Some of the protesters went as far as denouncing her as a representative of imperialism and a CIA agent.

Senator Eduardo Suplicy from the ruling Workers' Party had to intervene and ask for the protesters to ease down their attacks on the Cuban blogger. Security measures have been increased for Sánchez since then.

“I regret the situation got to this point, because I'm a person who uses words, I don't use guns”, said Sánchez, who nevertheless praised the “freedom” and “plurality” she found in Brazil. In response to protests during her visit, the blogger also said that she was “happy to visit a country where people can speak their minds freely.”

Sánchez is on her first trip abroad after the Cuban government eased travel regulations for its citizens. Before that, she had being denied a travel permit for more than 20 times.

During her 80-day tour, the activist also plans to visit the Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, United States, the Netherlands, Germany and Peru, amongst other countries.

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