More Than 80 Ladies in White Arrested to Prevent Their Honoring Laura Pollan

This weekend the Police and State Security temporarily detained at least 81 Ladies in White to prevent them from honoring their founder, Laura Pollán, who died two years ago, Berta Soler. Leader of the organization, informed Diario de Cuba.

The women gathered for a “literary tea” in the group’s headquarters in Havana. According to Soler, more than 40 Ladies in White managed to reach the place, including residents from the interior of the Island, despite operatives in several provinces to detain — or restrict to their homes — the activists who were trying to travel to the capital.

The regime’s forces also deployed a four block ring around the organization’s headquarters in Neptune Street. Soler said that several women were intercepted and beaten while trying to get there.

Communication with the leader of the Ladies in White was difficult because of the sound of the loudspeakers places by the regime to disrupt the tribute to Pollán with Castro hymns and music.

“They do not respect other people’s pain,” said Soler. She explained that at three doors to the Ladies in White headquarters platforms were placed to “mount a show” against the women.

Some thousand people were brought by the regime to an act of repudiation in Neptune Street in Havana.

Arrests and beatings

The activist also detailed the violent arrests of members of her group. She said that Bárbara Moreira, of Ciego de Ávila, ended up in the hospital after being intercepted at the bus terminal.

In the same province, Tania Maceda Guerra and her husband, human rights activist Juan Carlos González Leiva, endured acts of repudiation all weekend and even a raid on their home, said Soler. The aim was to prevent them from traveling to the capital.

The arrests to hinder the honor of Laura Pollán was added to the usual weekend practice of the Police and State Security to prevent the Ladies in White from attending mass.

This Sunday 18 women were arrested in Matanzas and eight in Villa Clara. In that province 31 opponents were also arrested and beaten when they went to a police station to protest the abuse of the women.

Laura Pollan died on October 14, 2011, victim of a heart attack at the Calixto Garcia Hospital in Havana, where she had been admitted for a week with severe respiratory failure.

Together with Soler and other mothers, wives and relatives of the 75 dissidents sentenced to long prison terms in 2003, Pollán founded the Ladies in White, a group dedicated to demanding the release of the political prisoners and denouncing their situation in being imprisoned on the island.

From Diario de Cuba

14 October 2013