Cuban blogger Sanchez due back after world tour

Cuban blogger Sanchez due back after world tour

In this March 19, 2013 file photo, Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Sanchez will return to Cuba from a prolonged global tour on Thursday, May 30, 2013. Communist authorities allowed Sanchez and several lesser-known opposition figures to travel as part of landmark migration reforms that took effect in January, eliminating exit visa requirements for all Cubans. Sanchez has said she wants to start an independent online newspaper upon her return. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

HAVANA (AP) -- Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez is heading back to the island after a more than three-month globetrotting tour that analysts say significantly raised her international profile.

Sanchez has traveled to more than a dozen countries in Europe and the Americas. She gave speeches criticizing President Raul Castro's government, met with human rights activists and foreign lawmakers and established ties to leading Western newspapers.

Sanchez has been away since Feb. 17 when she took advantage of a new travel reform law that scrapped Cuba's longtime exit visa requirement.

In the past, communist authorities routinely denied the visa to outspoken critics of the government.

Sanchez tweeted a photo of herself at Madrid's airport Thursday saying she was "ready to leave for Cuba." She was due to arrive in the evening.