As we’ve reported previously, Yoani Sánchez, dissident blogger and “vocal critic of the Cuban government,” has finally been allowed to travel, and South Florida is on her itinerary. Her three-month trip also includes several Latin American and European nations and a few U.S. cities, including Miami.
Yoani’s blog, GeneraciónY, and its English translation, Generation Y, which can be seen at www.desdecuba.com/generationy/ and her Twitter updates via @yoanisanchez are well-known throughout the world. She has received many awards, but has never been able to accept one outside Cuba in person.
Photo from her site:
I was trying to figure out when she will be in South Florida today, and found the exciting news that she will appear at Florida International University (FIU) to speak and be awarded FIU’s Medallion of Courage. What a fitting name for the award! The host of the presentation at FIU is its Cuban Research Institute.
Sánchez’s presentation, which is titled “Can Technologies and Social Media Accelerate Cuba’s Democratization?” is scheduled for April 1, 2013. See the link for details.
We previously examined the international flurry of government takeovers based on social media and discussed the fact that mobile Internet technology is not prevalent in Cuba. Even last week, we heard of new restrictions on certain Internet sites in Cuba, as a means of tamping the ability to communicate freely. In July of 2011, Yoani was invited to appear on a panel about a similar topic, called “How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less,” in Washington, D.C., but of course, she was forbidden the opportunity to leave. See our prior blog on the subject at
The Medallion of Courage is an honor created by FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg to recognize individuals who "pursue or defend a noble cause at a personal cost.”
Jorge Duany, Ph.D., (http://cri.fiu.edu/faculty/jorge-duany/) Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology at FIU, said “Yoani is an important voice in public discussions about Cuba’s present and future. We are pleased to provide a forum for Sánchez to have an open and honest conversation with our faculty, students and members of the South Florida community.
Also, see the following 2011 posting on this Blog about Yoani’s wish to travel:
I have tried multiple times to figure out how I could meet Yoani. I asked her English translator once whether she could arrange a meeting when I was in Havana. Every time I am in Havana, and using the Internet in a hotel, am looking around for Yoani. I am definitely going to do whatever I can go obtain a ticket and attend this event.