The Cuban Authorities Arrested a Dozen Ladies in White, Says Berta Soler
The leader of the Cuban opponents Damas de Blanco [Ladies in White] Berta Soler, denounced on Monday that she was arrested for hours along with her husband, former political prisoner Ángel Moya, and a dozen other members of the group in Havana and Matanzas. Soler reported on social networks the arrest of a member of the Ladies in White in the Havana neighborhood of Calabazar and others in Perico and Colón.
For his part, Moya posted a note on Facebook accompanied by a video in which he said that they were “intercepted and arrested” after leaving the headquarters of the Ladies in White on Sunday morning, in the Havana neighborhood of Lawton, which he counted as the “72nd repressive Sunday” against the collective.
Then, according to his account, they were transferred separately to the police stations of the El Cotorro and Guanabacoa municipalities, where they remained until almost 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Soler was fined 150 Cuban pesos.
Soler was fined 150 Cuban pesos
The Ladies in White is a women’s movement that emerged on the initiative of several women relatives of the 75 dissidents and independent journalists – including Moya – who received long sentences in 2003 during the repressive wave known as the Black Spring.
Since then, this group, composed of wives, mothers and relatives of the prisoners, has been identified by always being dressed in white and holding Sunday marches after attending mass in a Catholic church to ask for the release of political prisoners.
The European Union and the NGOs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International criticized the wave of arrests and convictions, calling them political. The Cuban authorities alleged that the accused dissidents violated national sovereignty under orders from the United States.
In 2005, the Ladies in White received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience from the European Parliament.
Translated by Regina Anavy