|Yoani Sánchez named vice chair for Cuba of IAPA’s Press Freedom Committee|
Miami (November 8, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today named Yoani Sánchez, a journalist and founder of the blog Generación Y, as regional vice chair for Cuba of its Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, whose main task will be to monitor press freedom in her country.
Sánchez accepted the role, regarded as the IAPA’s cornerstone, after being approached by the organization’s officers. The Quito, Ecuador, newspaper Hoy in today’s edition published on its Web site an interview with her in Spanish.
Known for her blog titled Generación Y – http://www.desdecuba.com – in which Sánchez, who is also a philologist, relates the reality of the common people in Cuba, she said that she accepted the vice chairmanship “because I myself have suffered what are the limitations of freedom of expression, the harassment, the persecution for practicing journalism.”
She added, “I accepted the role not only to be the eyes of the Press Freedom Committee in Cuba but to open up a path to have a press that is respected legally, professionally and ethically.” She also hoped that “many independent reporters, Twitters, that there are in the island will be able to channel, through me, doubts, problems, legal absences that there are in the country.”
Sánchez’ new responsibility in the hemisphere organization causes her new difficulties with the Cuban authorities, however the popular blogger said that “to belong to the IAPA and be in such a sensitive committee is going to be a protection. Thus, it is going to bring me problems but also it is going to avoid others for me.”
The Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information is chaired by the editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Busquéda, Claudio Paolillo and is made up of 25 regional vice chairmen in the Americas who among other roles draft the twice-yearly reports on the state of press freedom in their countries. The president of the IAPA is Jaime Mantilla, editor of the Quito, Ecuador, newspaper Hoy.
Asked how she will manage to take part in the IAPA meetings that are held two times a year in various countries, Sánchez replied that “one will have to be creative. I will be there in person or virtually and if not my reports will travel there, which is what is important.”
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.