Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez and her husband were arrested by officials in the eastern city of Bayamo, where she was on her way to cover the trial of a Spanish political activist, according to a pro-government blog.
Sanchez is most famous for being the author of a bold dissident blog, "Generacion Y," which details the oppression meted out by the Cuban government in direct and straightforward language. She is widely viewed as a representative of Cuban youths, speaking for those who have no voice.
Sanchez’s blog is filled with sharp criticisms such as this one: “They [the leaders in Cuba today] do not represent us because they strayed too long ago into a world of privileges, comforts and luxuries. They have no idea what it means to be a Cuban today.”
Sanchez’s detention was first revealed by "Yohandry's Weblog," a blog linked with the government, which claimed the reason for the arrests was the couple's alleged plan of creating a “provocation” and “media show” to manipulate and spread false news about the trial.
Angel Carromero, a Spanish political activist, allegedly committed vehicular manslaughter in July in an accident that killed Oswaldo Paya, a high-profile Cuban dissident, and his colleague, Harold Cepero. The car Carromero was driving crashed into a tree, killing the other two men, who were passengers.
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Carromero denied he was speeding. Indeed, Paya's family believe the car was intentionally run off the road.
Carromero and Jens Aron Modig, a Swedish political activist, had come to Cuba to support the island’s dissidents, according to the Washington Post.
Carromero has been in police custody since July 22, potentially facing a sentence of seven years of jail time for unintentional manslaughter.
Sanchez’s detention was condemned by many international organizations, including Amnesty International, the Inter American Press Association, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
In addition, William Ostick, a representative of the U.S. State Department, delivered the following statement: “We are deeply disturbed by the Cuban government’s repeated use of arbitrary detention to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly, and impede independent journalism.”
Last February, Sanchez submitted an application for a U.S. tourist visa for the 19th time -- again in vain. Just last week, she was reported to have filed a complaint against Cuba with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission for preventing her from leaving the country.