Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter takes a look at the ninth anniversary of Cuba’s Black Spring of 2003, and perhaps another Black Spring to come:
Nine years later: Another Cuban Black Spring?Nine years to the day after major March 18 crackdown on nonviolent activists 70 Cuban women arrested including Cuban human rights leader Berta Soler (pictured below)
The ninth anniversary of the Cuban Black Spring providentially fell on a Sunday just 8 days before Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival in Cuba on March 26. Today, approximately 70 members of the Ladies in White were arrested by the Castro regime and taken away. A majority of the 70 women were detained while trying to attend Mass.
The Ladies in White and the Cuban Black Spring
In March of 2003 following a crackdown on nonviolent opposition activists, known as the “Black Spring”, their wives, mothers, and sisters formed the Ladies in White and begin their weekly Sunday pilgrimages to attend Mass and march through the streets of Cuba demanding their loved ones freedom. The women would suffer harassment, beatings and detentions over the next nine years.
Many of the activists who had been unjustly imprisoned had been organizers of nationwide petition drive called the Varela Project, named after Father Felix Varela, that sought legal and constitutional reforms to bring the Cuban regime in line with international human rights norms.
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