The Tokonoma in the Wall / Lilianne Ruiz

Without having been able to go and join the Ladies in White, I didn’t feel like publishing anything today. Until I found out that my experience also needed to be told: Why, if the Cuban opposition is peaceful and I haven’t seen any Ladies expressing themselves in a way not suitable for the ears of children, couldn’t I go with my small daughter to the headquarters, or to the Santa Rita Church, on the anniversary of the death of Laura Pollan?

We all know the answer: The opposition in Cuba, which is peaceful, confronts the repressive apparatus of the State dictatorship which is violent, which is outside or above the Law, an immense Corporation to intimidate and harm, with the ideological alibi that all this is done to get “all justice.” No wonder the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a gap on the shelves of the Revolutionary bibliography, because it is the text where you can most clearly understand why prejudice against humanity is the policy of the current government and, of course, the government itself, which alone can lift to our sight, like a wall, its manipulative campaign, its ideological alibi, that strangles our freedom because it does not reflect who we are, what we think, what our true feelings are.

Thirty-one Ladies in White were arrested. From Friday October 12 they mounted a police operation with State Security agents, who literally besieged the headquarters, blocking off the surrounding streets, until the end of the day on the 14th.

In addition to blocking many of the women from leaving their provinces, they kidnapped some for 24 hours to prevent their attending church. I think that when a person is detained arbitrarily and without recognition of their rights, not even being allowed to phone their families, it is kidnapping. If the kidnappers are government agents that turns the goverment into a kidnapper.

I also know, from the report of Berta Soler, leader of the “Laura Pollan” Ladies in White Movement, that the agents “Samper” and “Alejandro” presented themselves at the headquarters at approximately 9:00 in the morning on Sunday to communicate to the Ladies that they “would concede” a range of movement and series of restrictions, under threat; to which the Ladies answered “no concessions” and demanded the immediate release of the women arrested and the breaking of the cordon at 3rd and 26th that State Security had also mounted to prevent their getting to the church.

The first anniversary of Laura’s death is over. I continue to recommend that everyone see Pier Antonio Maria Micciarelli’s movie “I Am the Other Cuba,” where you can clearly see how a car in which Laura is being interviewed is hit by another vehicle on a Cuba highway.

A few months later Laura would die in the Intensive Care ward of the Calixto Garcia Hospital of a mysterious “dengue fever” acquired after having been bitten and injured by some sharp instrument among the Act of Repudiation mob of the last Day of the Virgin of Mercy she would attend on this earth. There was no investigation into her death and while it was still being denounced it was followed by the death of Oswaldo Paya.

October 16 2012