Posted on Thursday, 03.28.13
Blogger Yoani Sánchez arrives in Miami
By MIMI WHITEFIELD
Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez touched down at Miami International Airport
Thursday afternoon and reacted emotionally to reuniting with her family
as well as arriving in the heartland of Cuban exiles.
Via her Twitter account, Sánchez said she would be spending the next few
days with her sister Yunia, brother-in-law and niece before beginning a
public agenda Monday.
One of her first stops Thursday was at La Ermita de la Caridad, the
Coconut Grove shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba's patron
saint. She met with Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Rev. Richard Vigoa
and Rev. Juan Rumín, rector of the bayside shrine. She also had a
picture taken of herself sitting on the seawall at the shrine and dubbed
it the "malecon of Miami.''
Sánchez, who was denied permission to leave Cuba for a dozen years
despite many invitations to travel abroad, finally received her passport
and began an international tour in February that has already taken her
to Latin America, Europe, New York and Washington.
Her outspoken style about daily life in Cuba and the plight of
dissidents in her Generación Y blog has earned her well over 15 million
hits a month and she has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter.
She wasted no time in sending out a stream of Tweets after her arrival
in Miami. Among them:
• "After two years of separation, I've finally been able to reunite
with my sister and give her a hug.''
• "Since I arrived at the airport, I've encountered Cubans everywhere.
• "My sister and I, two years, 90 miles of separation. The drama of so
many Cuban families."
Sánchez begins the day Monday with a meeting with The Miami Herald
editorial board. From there she'll head to Miami Dade College's Freedom
Tower where she'll receive the MDC Presidential Medal for championing
human rights and take part in a public conversation with Miami Herald
Editorial Page Editor Myriam Marquez. The conversation will be
live-streamed on the college website. All 800 tickets to the event have
already been distributed.
From there she'll head to Florida International University for an
evening reception and public event.
She also plans some private meetings and will appear at a Tweet Up at
the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday. She'll
be discussing technology, innovation and social change at the event
organized by the Knight Foundation and Roots of Hope. The public will be
able to send her questions by tweeting them to #askyoani. Free tickets
are available at askyoani.com