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Castro clashes on Twitter

The daughter of the Cuban president, Raul Castro, has found herself at the centre of a Twitter row with an anti-government blogger.

Mariela Castro's debut on the social media service – which has a small but growing presence on the island – began smoothly when she sent her first tweets on Tuesday about her work as a gay rights activist. Then dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez fired the first salvo.

"They tell me Mariela Castro opened a Twitter account," the Havana-based Ms Sanchez wrote. "A question for her, 'When will we Cubans be able to come out of other closets?'" More tweets followed: "Welcome to the plurality of Twitter... here nobody can shut me up, deny me permission to travel or impede entrance," one read.

Ms Castro, who is the head of the National Sex Education Centre, shot back at Ms Sanchez, saying: "Your approach to tolerance reproduces the old mechanisms of power." Later, she grumbled about "despicable parasites" criticising her: "Were you ordered by your employers to respond to me in unison and with the same script? Be creative."