I will forever hold in my heart the image of Laura Pollán, dressed in white, carrying gladiolus, leading the column of Las Damas de Blanco. How many of us waited every Sunday for news of their weekly act of brave resistance, their peaceful, dignified walk down Havana’s 5th Avenue, as we prayed for their safety, the release of their husbands and all political prisoners, and inspired by their bravery and dignity, dared to hope for more, so much more for Cuba.
Laura Pollán´s dissidence is reminiscent of China’s Tank Man. She dared to stand down the might of an oppressive state, and sadly has suffered the same fate as that unknown rebel, but with one significant difference; unlike China’s invisible rebel, Laura Pollán is not going to disappear. Just as the weak and cowardly Castro dictators were rendered helpless to stop Laura from marching in life, her cause, Libertad, Libertad, Libertad, will prevail. They will be unable to stop Cuba’s inevitable passage out of bondage to freedom.
In the days ahead the Cuban diaspora and friends will be holding memorial tributes for Laura Pollán; we will wear white, carry gladiolus, and in her honor, we will raise our fists in solidarity with Las Damas de Blanco and all of Cuba’s dissidents. They will continue their fight for freedom with her name added to the list of heroes and martyrs who inspire them and whose legacy they carry. We will continue to support, as the MSM reminds us, those “tiny” number of dissidents. The same tiny dissident movement always present during the 52 years of the Castro dictatorship, the same tiny dissident movement that Castro’s firing squads, concentration camps, forced re-locations, exile, actos de repudios, the 200 plus prisons—a gulag, has not silenced. May God Bless and keep always, Laura Pollán.