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Originally published Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM

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Cuban dissident blogger visits White House

One of Cuba's best-known dissidents has visited the White House after trying for nearly a decade to obtain government permission to travel outside the communist island.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

One of Cuba's best-known dissidents has visited the White House after trying for nearly a decade to obtain government permission to travel outside the communist island.

The White House says blogger Yoani Sanchez met Wednesday with officials to discuss free speech issues in Cuba.

Sanchez is on an 80-day tour of about a dozen nations, including Brazil, Italy and Switzerland. Her authorization to leave Cuba was seen as a test of a new law announced in October that eliminated the exit permit required of islanders for five decades.

The State Department honored Sanchez in 2011 with the International Women of Courage Award.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden says the U.S. wants Cubans to be able to express themselves without fear.

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