14ymedio, Havana, 30 January 2022 — On Sunday, women in plainclothes at the service of Cuba’s State Security arrested Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White, “as she left the organization’s headquarters in the Lawton neighborhood in Havana,” denounced the activist Ángel Moya Acosta.
Moya published a video showing the moment Soler was arrested carrying a gladiolus and launching slogans calling for the “freedom of political prisoners” and respect for human rights. “Down with the dictatorship. Down with Diaz-Canel,” the activist was heard saying while a repressive act was deployed against her.
On January 24, Berta Soler and Bárbara Farrat were detained and held for several hours as they left the organization’s national headquarters in Lawton in Havana, where they had gathered to peacefully protest for the freedom of political prisoners.
Farrat spent 10 hours in the Cotorro Police Unit, where she refused to drink water or eat food and was released after being fined 30 pesos. Berta Soler, Lourdes Esquivel, Gladys Capote and Yolanda Santana were held in cells at police stations in Cotorro and Guanabacoa and fined 2,000 pesos each, in addition to being warned by the authorities.
Soler had already announced that the demonstration on the 23rd will be followed by others on coming Sundays. “We will continue repeating our presence and it is extremely important that more people join, so that the repressors understand that families are active for the release of their loved ones.”
Moya had already warned of acts of repression since last Friday. “Operation underway today, by the repressors of State Security against the headquarters of the Ladies in White in Lawton in Havana,” he posted on his social networks with three images of men in civilian clothes at the service of State Security.
On Saturday the 22nd, one day before the demonstration by the Ladies in White, Soler announced that they were threatened in the province of Matanzas and in Havana with “prison and fines of 5,000 Cuban pesos,” if they insisted on taking to the streets.
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