After winning a five-year battle for the right to travel outside Cuba, blogger Yoani Sánchez was met by protestors when she deplaned after arriving at her first international destination, Brazil. Demonstrators in the airport lounge supporting the Castro regime held signs accusing Sánchez of being under the influence of the United States, reported the website Terra.
In response to the protestors, Sánchez tweeted, "Upon arriving, many friends welcomed me. Others hurled insults. I hope that in #Cuba it will be possible to do the same. Long live freedom!"
Along with her impressions of Brazil, the blogger criticized the Cuban government, especially the limitations on freedom of expression on the island, including censorship of regime opponents and restrictions on Internet access.
Brazil is just her first stop. Yoani, 37 years old, will travel to 12 countries in Latin America and Europe in a nearly three-month trip to begin "a new phase" in her life after being denied the right to leave Cuba 20 times by the island's communist government.
Sánchez, who was arrested twice by Cuban authorities in 2012, is the author of the celebrated blog Generation Y, where she writes about life in Cuba. The Inter American Press Association named her its new freedom of expression delegate in Cuba in November 2012.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.