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Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez Met By Protesters In Brazil

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Published on Feb 18, 2013

Cuba's best-known dissident, blogger Yoani Sanchez, arrived in Brazil on Monday (February 18), her first stop on an 80-day-tour of a dozen countries.

Sanchez was greeted by protesters at Salvador's airport, in Brazil's northeast, who said she was a CIA agent.

"Yoani Sanchez is not a citizen who is freely expressing her opinions against her government. She is being financed by a foreign government to tell lies about Cuba," said a spokesman for the Socialist Youth Group, Caio Marques Ferreira.

Sanchez is in Brazil for the screening of a documentary on press freedom in Cuba, in which she takes part.

Sanchez was reported to have brushed off the protest, saying she wished Cubans had the same freedom to protest back home.

According to a local news magazine Veja, Cuban diplomats met with militants from Brazil's ruling Workers' Party in Brasilia and asked them to organize protests against Sanchez during her stay in Brazil.

Sanchez was granted a passport two weeks ago under Cuba's sweeping immigration reform that went into effect this year, after being denied permission to travel more than 20 times over the past five years.

Sanchez has won a number of international prizes for her blog, but has been denied permission to travel to collect them. She now plans to use part of the prize money to "found a free press in Cuba."

Other stops for Sanchez include the U.S., Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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