Columbia Journalism School

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Yoani Sánchez visits J-School 3/14

March 12, 2013

After years of being blocked from leaving Cuba, blogger Yoani Sánchez made her first U.S. appearance March 14 at Columbia Journalism School.  After brief remarks, she engaged in conversation with Professor Mirta Ojito, and then took questions.

To view footage of the event, see below.

For several years, Sánchez has managed to send out very realistic descriptions of life in Cuba on her blog, Generación Y, and her Twitter feed, which are followed by hundreds of thousands worldwide. She has evaded Cuban government attempts to block her postings by finding web connections in hotels and other Havana venues where she downloads her blog and sends it out to supporters around the world. They in turn translate her words into 17 languages, including English, found here: http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy. She is also very active on Twitter: @yoanisanchez.

In 2009, Columbia's Maria Moors Cabot Prizes awarded Sánchez a Special Citation for her work. Cuba denied her permission to come to New York to receive her award, but she smuggled out a video message of thanks that was shown the awards dinner.

Recently, the Cuban government eased travel regulations and issued Sánchez a passport. She is currently touring Europe and the Americas and she has accepted a special invitation to meet with Columbia University students and faculty.

(Slideshow photocredit: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo)

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