Ladies in White and Opponents Arrested After Sunday March in Havana
Ladies in White and Opponents Arrested After Sunday March in Havana /
Posted on March 20, 2016
EFE/14ymedio, Havana, 20 March 2016 – Some fifty Ladies in White and
other opposition members such as the graffiti artist El Sexto and
Antonio Gonzales Rodlies were arrested in Havana today after the usual
Sunday march of the female dissident group, which was answered with a
counter-repudiation-demonstration by government supporters.
At the end of the usual peaceful march after Mass at Havana’s Santa Rita
Church, the Ladies in White tried to walk to other streets away from
their route, where the ruling party had concentrated groups linked to
the government which began to jeer at them.
The incident, which with varying intensity has been repeated every
Sunday for 46 weeks, took place a few hours before the arrival on the
Island of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, who during
his historic visit will meet with members of the dissidence.
The Ladies in White along with a group of dissidents and activists from
other opposition organizations gathered under the platform
#TodosMarchamos (We All March) and walked some hundred yards carrying a
banner with the inscription, “Obama, coming to Cuba is not
entertainment. No more human rights violations,” and threw copies of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights on reaching a side street.
At that point they encountered the counter-demonstration of several
hundred government sympathizers carrying signs reading “#We All March
for a prosperous and sustainable socialism,” and “#We All March for
Cuba,” and shouting “Fidel, Fidel” in reference to the Cuban leader
Other male activists who accompanied the Ladies in White were handcuffed
and put into police cars.
Even after the arrests, the pro-government group of protesters continued
in the area and circled the block dancing to a popular conga headed by a
contingent from the University Students Federation (FEU).
Previously, the leader of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, told EFE
that her group calls on President Obama during his visit to send “a
clear message of support to the people of Cuba, given that the United
States has always wanted good things and democracy for the island.”
“We also want to demand that the Cuban government immediately release
all political prisoners, enact a general amnesty and to stop police
violence,” added Soler.
Soler said that if she can talk with President Obama in Havana, she will
him that “nothing has changed here nor is it going to change, he has
come to a Cuba that is repressed and he will leave a Cuba that is
The first visit by a president of the United States in the last 88 years
will begin today with the arrival of Barack Obama, who in announcing his
trip said one of its purposes was to influence the situation of human
rights on the island, at a time when the dissidence has denounced an
increase in repression.
Source: Ladies in White and Opponents Arrested After Sunday March in
Havana / EFE, 14ymedio | Translating Cuba –