MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez made a stop in Washington D.C. as part of her nearly three month trip outside her homeland.
On Tuesday she met with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and other members of Congress. After the meeting Nelson said he had called on the United Nations to convene an independent panel to investigate the events surrounding the death of another Cuban blogger, Oswaldo Payá, and youth activist Harold Cepero in the auto accident last summer.
In a statement released by his office, Nelson’s requested request was spurred not only by Sanchez’s views on what happened but also by an interview Payá’s driver gave to the Washington Post just recently. In the interview, Ángel Carromero described how the group was followed by a vehicle with government plates and then hit with a “thunderous impact from behind.”
“Given this new information,” Nelson said in the statement. “it is time for the international community to insist that a thorough investigation occur.”
Sánchez, who recently received a passport under Cuba’s new travel and migration policy, is on a world tour discussing freedom and democracy for the Cuban people. She has publicly expressed desire for an independent investigation into Payá’s death.
The circumstances of Payá’s July 23 death remain in dispute. According to The New York Times, Cuban officials said the crash, near the eastern city of Bayamo, occurred when the driver lost control and hit a tree, killing Mr. Payá and another Cuban and injuring two passengers, one from Spain, the other from Sweden.
But, the newspaper has reported, some Cuban dissidents said witnesses saw another vehicle hit Mr. Payá’s.
Sanchez is scheduled to speak April 1st at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower.