More than 40 children with their parents met on the eve of January 6th at the headquarters of the Ladies in White, at 962 Neptune Street, to celebrate the traditional “Day of the Three Kings.” Bertha Soler, leader of the Movement, began the event remembering Laura Pollan, who from 2004 celebrate this day especially dedicated to bringing the happiness stolen from the children of the political prisoners and in particular the 75 of the Cuban Black Spring.
The party didn’t lack a clown to enliven it with puppets and interactive games. The children’s laughter and dancing filled with the small room where nostalgia continues to make itself present. Undoubtedly the most anticipated moment was the giving of the gifts the children had asked for in their little notes.
A boy dressed as Santa Claus delighted the imagination. Bertha Soler and Laurita L. Pollan (daughter of the late Laura), gave the children dolls, kitchenette sets, carts, airplanes, all taken from the magical Christmas bags for the occasion.
Then, around the dining table, as is customary at Cuban children’s birthdays, everyone sang congratulations to the children and offered them a delicious chocolate cake and the traditional cold salad, croquettes, candy, chocolate and soft drinks. A piñata in the form of a clown and a raffle were the culmination of this festival full of surprises.
At the end, Bertha Soler said: “For us today, the eve of the Day of the Three Kings in 2013, is as always dedicated to Cuban children. To the children who are suffering right now because their parents are imprisoned, the children of the Ladies in White, the children of the community around our headquarters.
In 2004 we started having activities for the Day of the Three Kings for children suffering at the time, who were the children of the 75 men and one woman who went to prison. The main organizer and facilitator of this activity was Laura Pollan.
In 2012 we could not carry out the activities because we were mourning the physical loss of Laura. In her honor this year we started the activity projecting photos from previous years in the celebration of this day, where she is disguised as the little old fairy. Here no one can do it like Laura did.
The children who did not meet her at least can see if these slides what we did,accompanied by the song “Laura Pollan” composed by Amaury Gutierrez.
The children had so much fun with the clown, who kept them smiling for an hour as they all received their toys. Thanks to all the people of goodwill, Cuban exiles, for their collaboration, support and solidarity that made this activity possible. We are very grateful not to be forgotten by them and this is the result: exiled brothers and people of goodwill who contributed with their solidarity to make this activity possible. This was the way to make these children happy.
Cuban children don’t have Three Kings Day because the Cuban government has set high prices shops for toys such that parents cannot afford them. They are only available to those who receive money from abroad, and enough money, so that they don’t have to pass up buying food to buy toys to some children. There are other children who can not enjoy this.
Here in Havana we had this activity today, yesterday the delegations of the Ladies in White in Holguin and Granma had it. Also on this day delegations in Pinar del Rio, Villa Clara and Matanzas are celebrating. And tomorrow will be in Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.
Meanwhile Laura Maria Labrada Pollan said: “We are here today to celebrate the Day of the Three Kings, you know every year since 2004 my mom was the host of the Magi in the entire island.
The holidays became reality in this house, from Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo to Pinar del Rio. All of the 75 women came with their children to celebrate this feast. Actually, my mom came up with this party because the children were very sad, their parents had been unjustly imprisoned, and she created this activity for children at least once a year to have a day of happiness and joy. As you know we love family.
We are here today remembering my mother first and giving children the happiness they deserve, and not just the group of 75, because very few of them are still here in Cuba but we have added many women and we wanted do this party as my mom did, with the same love that in all these prior years she showed. She is here with us and with the children too.
About my mom, what I can say? The most, the greatest thing that God could give me. Thanks to her I have the life I have and I’m in the place I’m in right now. Without my mom I would not have been anyone and I thank her for teaching me to live for the good of humanity in this country. I love her, I know she is watching us from heaven, and all the good things that we’re doing, thanks to her who was the founder of the Ladies in White, today we continue her legacy.
We don’t know when we will be able to stop, because “while there are political prisoners — as she put it — there will be Ladies in White.”
January 23 2013