Ladies in White Headquarters Surrounded by State Security / 14ymedio, Orlando Palma

Kiosks selling food and drink in front of the headquarters of the Ladies in White. (bertasolerf)
Kiosks selling food and drink in front of the headquarters of the Ladies in White. (bertasolerf)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Orlando Palma, Havana, 18 December 2015 — On Friday morning, the political police surrounded the headquarters of the Ladies in White in the Havana’s Lawton district, blocking entrance to several activists who arrived for the traditional literary tea held every Friday, as confirmed to 14ymedio by Juan Angel Moya, former prisoner of the Black Spring and husband of the movement’s leader, Berta Soler.

The opposition also reported that as of last Wednesday several kiosks selling food and drink to the public were placed around the site. State Security in Cuba frequently uses this practice to close access to the homes of activists.

Despite the arrests and the police cordon, dozens of women have made ​​it to the headquarters of the organization where, as part of the meeting, the film The Empty House, by Cuban director Lilo Vilaplana, was shown.

Opposition figure Martha Beatriz Roque reported that the police took Ladies in White Mayelín Santiesteban and Mirta Ricardo Tornés off the bus they were taking to Havana from Artemisa, to prevent them from reaching the activities at the headquarters in the capital city.

The police operation also seeks to prevent the activists approaching the courtroom for crimes against state security, in the court located at Juan Delgado and Carmen streets in Havana’s 10 de Octubre district, where the trial of Ariel and Ricardo Gonzalez Sendiña will be held on Friday. The young men are the children of Lady in White Lazara Barbara Sendiña and are charged with the alleged crime of theft and slaughter of livestock.