'Up democracy!' shouts Cuban dissident labelled a CIA agent


Cuba’s best-known dissident, blogger Yoani Sanchez, was greeted by a small group of protesters calling her a CIA agent upon arriving in Brazil yesterday, the first stop on a whirlwind 80-day tour that will take her to a dozen countries.

A smiling Ms Sanchez brushed off the student demonstrators who sympathise with Cuba’s communist government, saying she wished Cubans had the same freedom to protest back home. Ms Sanchez’s arrival in Brazil kicked off her first trip abroad since the Cuban government finally granted her a passport after more than 20 refusals in the past five years.

The protesters, about eight leftist students from a local university, shouted “Sell out” and “CIA agent” as Sanchez arrived in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife.

“Viva la democracia! I want that democracy for my country too,” she responded.

The Cuban government labels dissidents as mercenaries on the payroll of the United States, its decades-old ideological foe. Ms Sanchez, a 37-year-old Havana resident, has incurred the wrath of Cuba’s government for constantly criticising

its communist system in her Generation Y blog – desdecuba.com/generaciony.

– (Reuters)