Tuesday, February 12, 2013

@YoaniSanchez & @OLPL in NYC & DC

(Photo borrowed from CafeFuerte).

If all goes according to plan (and it rarely does), a little over a month from now, the intrepid and long-denied Cuban bloggers Yoani Sánchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (see his blogs here and here) will arrive in New York City and also travel to Washington, DC for a whirlwind week of symposia, press conferences, interviews, and presentations.  I'm sure there will also be many laughs, hugs, and lots of tears of joy and disbelief.

They come -in the words of Yoani-, "to learn and return."  Let's hope they do (and are allowed to do) just that!

Café Fuerte just published a detailed description of their itinerary in Spanish.

They are coming to NYC participate in a symposium organized by the Cuban-American performance artist and New School professor Coco Fusco along with many friends (including Chris Stover, Ariana Hernández, Ana Dopico, Odette Cisneros, Pablo Menéndez, Nitin Sawhney, Tom Werner, John Kelly, and your humble servant).  The event is set for March 15-17 and is entitled:

"The Revolution Recodified: 
Digital Culture and the Public Sphere In Cuba"

It is being co-sponsored by NYU and kicked off at its King Juan Carlos Center at 4:00 p.m., Friday afternoon, March 15.  Go here to get your FREE tickets and to view the full program.

Over the course of the better part of a week (March 15-21), I will have the distinct pleasure of helping to host and interpret for Yoani and Orlando both at the NY symposium and at a number of other events they have planned throughout the city and in the nation's capital.  

Tentative events in NYC are planed for Monday, March 18 at Yeshiva University's Cardozo Law School (they recently visited Antonio Rodiles, Yoani, and friends in Havana), the HQ of HuffPo Live, and CUNY's City College.

Other events will take place in Washington, D.C., on March 19 and 20, including panels at Georgetown University and the Cato Institute, among other venues TBA.

Of course, you can follow @YoaniSanchez on Twitter to be sure that she is indeed allowed to get on that plane to Brazil on February 17.  Follow me @ElYuma or check my blog to get updates on her and Orlando Luis' itinerary as it unfolds.

Yoani will head on to Amsterdam at the end of her heady week on the East Coast, while Orlando will remain in NYC for a few weeks before beginning his own sold out 36-city tour of the lower 48!


  1. Great job Ted, very very happy for both Yoani Sanchez and OLPL !! Hopeful to witness Cuba's metamorphosis

  2. The Cuban government has lost no time in organizing protests against Yoani when she goes abroad. The MININT blog issued in the name of "Yohandry Fontana" has declared: "Of course, in every one of the conferences of this faithful collaborator of the U.S. Government [i.e., Yoani] there will be journalists and militants present who will ask uncomfortable questions... We will then prove how her international sponsors exercise freedom of expression."

    Source: http://www.kaosenlared.net/america-latina/item/46950-video-desbandada-de-disidentes´-tras-flexibilización-de-salidas-en-cuba-¿eeuu-pierde-a-sus-peones-o-los-recoloca?.html

    Robert Kent, Friends of Cuban Libraries

    1. My only reaction is: Let them come. As long as they are respectful, the harder the question the better. I have no doubt that both Yoani Sanchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo will be willing and able to respond for themselves. That's the kind of open and free exchange of ideas that we encourage and promote.

  3. Wonderful, Ted. Good for you. Please give them both a big abrazo for me!

  4. Wonderful, Ted. Good for you. Please give them both a big abrazo from me.

  5. Oh no! OLPL's 36 city tour SOLD OUT? How did this get by me?! Any chance he's coming to Tampa? Any chance I could get in if so? ¡Por favor....ayúdame!

  6. Laraine,

    That was just my way of trying to be funny. He will, however, be in NYC for a few weeks and plans to try to see parts of the US - especially if invited!