Cuban dissident visits White House

Washington, Mar 20 (EFE).- Cuban independent journalist and blogger Yoani Sanchez visited the White House on Wednesday and met with President Barack Obama's advisor on Latin America.

Sanchez, who is in Washington as one stop on her tour through a number of countries, spoke with Ricardo Zuñiga about her struggle to promote "increased respect" for the freedom of expression in Cuba, according to a communique released by White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.

Hayden emphasized that Sanchez was prohibited from leaving Cuba for years and that the blogger is a "respected advocate for the freedom of information."

"The United States looks forward to the day when all Cubans will have the opportunity to express themselves in public without fear and we will continue to support policies that encourage the free flow of information to, from, and within Cuba," the NSC spokeswoman said.

Sanchez, 37, met on Tuesday in Washington with several Democratic and Republican senators and congressmen and gave a speech at the Cato Institute in which she said that technology is not enough to change Cuba, but it will help in the process of achieving a "free society."

After five years of negative responses from the Cuban government to her repeated requests to travel abroad, the author of the well-known Generacion Y blog finally received permission to leave the island last month thanks to a reform in Havana's immigration policy and on her world tour so far she has visited Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico.