14ymedio, Havana, 14 February 2016 — Several groups of Cuban activists paid tribute on Sunday to Laura Pollan, the late leader of the Ladies in White. The weekly pilgrimage of the human rights movement along 5th Avenue in Havana honored the 68th anniversary of the birth of the late founder and leading figure in the women’s group.
At least 37 women made it to the parish of Santa Rita, in the neighborhood of Miramar and joined in the march. Another 15 activists from various organizations were also represented at the site to support the opposition, as confirmed by this newspaper.
Pollan was born on February 13, 1948. She worked as a teacher and began her civic activism at the time of the Black Spring of 2013, when her husband Hector Maseda was convicted and sent to prison. She led the Ladies in White dissident movement until her death in October 2011.
In 2014, a group headed by her daughter, Laura Labrada, separated from the Ladies in White and formed the Laura Pollan Ladies in White Civic Movement.
At the conclusion of the march this Sunday in Havana, the women met, as is traditional, in Gandhi Park. As they left the park they were violently arrested and taken to the Tarara Police Station, east of Havana, according to reports to 14ymedio from activists.
Also on Sunday, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) denounced the arrest of 83 of its members, most of them while trying to get to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre in Santiago de Cuba.