Dissident calls for Cuban unity

Miami, Apr 1 (EFE).- Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez on Monday issued a call to Cuban exiles to help forge a feeling of unity among all Cubans and to end the existence of "Fidel's Cubans and Miami's Cubans."

"There is no you and us, there is only us. We won't permit them to remain separate," she said from Miami's Freedom Tower, an emblematic site for Cubans who left the island after Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

Now, 54 years later, the Cuban exile community received the 37-year-old Sanchez with shouts of "Libertad, libertad" (Freedom, freedom), although there was also a protest against her opposition to the U.S. embargo and her decision to return to Cuba once she has finished her current international tour.

Before a packed, standing-room-only hall, the blogger made an effort to extend her hand, avoid confrontation, seek agreement and express affection for the Cubans living abroad.

Attending the speech were local authorities, who received Sanchez as "a real freedom fighter," in the words of Eduardo Padron, president of Miami Dade College and the organizer of the event at which Sanchez was presented with an award.

"I've asked myself many times why we see the Cubans inside and outside the island as two irreconcilable worlds," said Sanchez, who referred to those present as people who "have lived the sorrow of exile, who left in the majority of cases with only what they were wearing and said goodbye to relatives, many of whom they never saw again."

"We won't permit them to keep separating us," said Sanchez, who asked all those present not to let anyone be able ever again to make a distinction "between one type of Cuban and another."

"Help us to topple that wall, which in contrast to the one in Berlin is not concrete but (made) of lies, silences and bad intentions," said Sanchez.