Vice President Joe Biden Meets with Yoani Sanchez

Biden-recibe-a-Yoani-SánchezThe challenge for defenders of free expression on the island was the subject of a meeting between the well-known blogger Yoani Sanchez and the vice president of the United States Joe Biden.

Both communicated news of the meeting from the Twitter accounts (@VP for the vice president and @yoanisanchez for the blogger), with an attached photo.

On October 25, 2013 Joe Biden received Berta Soler, representative of the Ladies in White, in a meeting in which they talked about human rights in Cuba and civil society in general.

Days later, on 8 November, president of the United States Barack Obama, on a visit to Miami to raise funds for the Democratic Party, met for the first time with Cuban dissidents living on the island.

Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, and Guillermo Fariñas, both winners of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, met the president at the home of Jorge Mas Santos, director of the Cuban American National Foundation.

The Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, in Miami on Tuesday, said that she hopes to launch her own media in the coming weeks, announced several months ago, and which she described as “independent” and distanced from “barricade journalism,” according to EFE.

The blogger attended the Hispanicize Conference, where she received the Latinovator award for having contributed to and encouraged the use of new technologies on the Island.

The Hispanicize Conference started on Tuesday, with nearly two thousand Hispanic professionals for three days of discussions of trends in journalism, social media, advertising and new technologies

Asked about her journalistic project, Sanchez told Reuters she does not want “to be used as a weapon to defeat another. We want to be a medium that survives the current moment of Cuba, a medium for now and for later.”

According to Sanchez, the bloggers movement in Cuba has become “a civic voice in recent years” to express “discomfort and the desires for change.”

“The fundamental objective is that ordinary Cuban who now cannot go to the corner newsstand and buy any newspaper other than Granma ” said Sanchez, who admitted to having alternate plans in the event that the Cuban authorities want to prevent the opening of the new medium.

“Do we fear reprisals? Yes, it’s possible. That’s the fear that everyone has who expresses an opinion and opens his mouth in Cuba. But I hope that international public opinion will protect us because what we want to do is journalism, we are not founding a guerrilla movement,” Sanchez said.

She added that he would like to make a newspaper “to accompany the democratic transition” in Cuba and consolidate it as a space for interaction and participation in society.

Cubanet, 3 April 2014