Terrified of allowing Cubans to even get a glimpse of freedom, the communist Castro regime sent its State Security agents to surround the home of Ladies in White leader Berta Soler to stop her from attending a 4th of July event at the U.S. embassy in Havana.
Opposition leader Berta Soler denounces 4th of July surveillance
Berta Soler, the leader of the opposition movement the Ladies in White, posted on Facebook that State Security agents were near her house on July 4, Independence Day for the United States.
“Neighbors alerted me that State Security oppressors dressed in civilian clothes are at the cafeteria on Ave. Porvenir and Beales Street,” wrote Soler in a Facebook post.
The dissident and her husband, Ángel Moya, were invited today to the celebration held annually by the U.S. Embassy in the Cuban capital.
In statements to ADN Cuba, Soler said that around 4:00 p.m., “police cars were seen on the corners and then they hid. It seems they wanted to prevent us from attending the reception. We decided not to attend the event,” she concluded.
So far in 2023, Soler and Moya have been arrested on several occasions by Cuban State Security.
Last May, the Lady in White and her husband were arrested for the seventeenth time in the year.
Both dissidents were intercepted and arrested outside the Ladies in White headquarters located in Havana’s Lawton neighborhood.
After their arrest, Soler and Moya were taken separately to police units in the municipalities of San Miguel del Padrón and Guanabacoa, respectively. According to Soler’s account, she was fined 30 Cuban pesos.
In April, Moya was received threats during an interrogation. As he shared on social media, State Security told him that this year, both he and Berta (Soler) “will be taken down, and they will have familiar faces who will testify against us.”
Additionally, an agent told him “to be careful” because the same thing that happened to Maykel Osorbo before he was imprisoned could happen to him. Osorbo was the victim of a brutal beating while other oppressors recorded the attack.
The Ladies in White movement began in response to the wave of repression by the Cuban regime known as the “Black Spring” in March 2003 when 75 dissidents and independent journalists were arrested and sentenced to long prison sentences.
In recognition of their struggle, the Ladies in White were awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament in 2005.