U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio met with Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who is visiting Washington, D.C. as part of her tour of the U.S. and other nations to talk about life in Cuba.
Sanchez and fellow blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo met Wednesday with Rubio and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez.
During the meeting, they discussed expanding internet access in Cuba, recently announced changes in Cuban travel and property policies, the future of Cuba’s government, foreign tourism to Cuba, the U.S. embargo, the Helms-Burton law, the Cuban Adjustment Act and what her life in Cuba is like, according to Rubio's office.
Sanchez has her own blog, "Generation Y," and sends daily tweets about the life on the island and news regarding dissidents.
Rubio issued the following statement after the meeting: “Yoani is a remarkable woman and I was honored to meet with her to get her perspective on a broad range of issues regarding Cuba’s people and their future. Through her Generación Y blog, Yoani has given the rest of the world valuable insights into daily life in Cuba and, more importantly, given us a glimpse of what brave, Cuban democracy advocates like her can do with a little bit of Internet access. I believe expanding Internet access to Cuba is an important foreign policy goal we should work towards, so that many more can follow Yoani’s lead and help expose the reality of the regime’s inept and repressive nature.
Yoani’s tour is a testament to her relentless drive in all she does, having been denied this chance by the regime so many times but keeping at it until she was finally allowed to travel. Her trip is invaluable in helping others better understand Cuba from the perspective of people like her who long to be free.
It is critically important that, when it’s time for her to return home, we remain vigilant about the abuse and acts of vengeance the regime is surely contemplating against her. The Castro regime is full of thugs and murderers, and we must join other nations in continuing to demand the safety and human rights not only of Yoani but of all the Cuban people.”
Sanchez is expected to speak at the Freedom Tower on April 1 before her return to Cuba.