© 2013 Jacob Balzani Lööv. All rights reserved.

Journalists (V): Yoani Sanchez

I particularly like this picture of Yoani Sanchez and her Gioconda’s subtle smile, during the Journalism Festival in Perugia. I just sneaked out from my seat and reached the stage with an unappropriate 35mm lens, while she was contested by a group of Castro’s supporter throwing fake dollars with her face instead of Washington’s.

Yoani Sanchez was listed by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that “under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech”. Her blog tells stories about frustration and  problems that Cubans have to face every day, underlining especially the lack of freedom on the island.

Her reply to the accuses of Castro’s supporters of being a USA mercenary, never touching the the problems provoked by the embargo and the advantages of a communist planned economy, was short: “I wish people would be able to protest as you are doing now, in this room, also in my country. And also that the embargo would be over. This way the Castro family would not have excuses anymore for every problem arising in Cuba.”

For Yoani, the freedom of expression and the possibility to choose their form of government are the prerequisite to any further discussion.

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