Dissident Teleconference

On April 21, nine Ladies in White lead by Laura Pollán, took the streets of Havana and staged a sit-in near the office of Cuba’s new “president”, (r)aúl (c)astro.

“We are here to demand the release of our husbands and won’t leave until they are free or they arrest us. We have waited long enough; we want to talk to the new president,”

As well all know, (r)aúl responded by sending out about 20 female police officers to break-up the protest.
The 20 officers were no match for the will and determination of the patriots and soon a mob of “government supporters” soon arrived to rough up the Ladies in White and throw them into an awaiting bus amid insults, jeers and revolutionary slogans.
So much for the new “president’s” call for a “national dialogue.”
Yesterday, though, at least one Lady in White did get to speak to a president and to see him, if only on a TV screen. Berta Soler, one of The Damas De Blanco, along with Martha Beatriz Roque, Jose Luis Garcia ” Antúnez participated in a teleconference with the president of the United Sates, George W. Bush.

The three dissidents gave the U.S. leader their assessment of the “political, economic and social situation”

At the teleconference, held at the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, the dissidents were also able to exchange their impressions on the new regime with President Bush, Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice and the Cuban American Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutiérrez.
At least the Ladies in White pleas for the release of their imprisoned relatives did reach the leader of the free world who reiterated the United State’s support for the release of all political prisoners and lamented the lack of support offered by some of America’s democratic allies.
Ironically, it turned out to be easier for the Ladies in White to express their concerns about their unjustly imprisoned husbands, brothers and sons to the president of the United States than to the new Cuban tyrant.
Maybe they should have called (r)aúl on one of the new cell phones that he’s hawking instead.
More on the Teleconference with Bush here and aqui