Yoani Sanchez's World Tour is Off to a Rocky Start

Protests and controversy mark Cuban blogger's visit to Brazil.

ByABC News
February 21, 2013, 11:14 AM

Feb. 21, 2013— -- Renowned Cuban dissident Yoani Sánchez's 80-day international tour is off to a lukewarm start.

In the few days since the award-winning blogger landed in Brazil –the first stop in her 12-country trip through Latin America, the United States, and Europe-- she has met with groups of supporters in different cities and faced highly-organized demonstrations at every event she has attended, spurring rumors of a concerted Cuban government effort to discredit her.

On Monday, Sánchez landed at the Guararapes International airport in the city of Recife in northeastern Brazil. She was greeted by journalists, friends, advocates, and by a troupe of about 20 protesters holding banners and screaming slogans such as "Viva Fidel" and "Yoani, sold to the Yankees."

Unfazed, she smiled and took pictures of the demonstrators with her phone.

"There were flowers, gifts and even a group of people insulting me which, I confess, I really enjoyed, because it allowed me to say that I dream that 'one day people in my country will be able to express themselves against something publicly like this, without reprisals,'" she wrote in her blog, Generacion Y.