Cuba Gov. Cracks Down on Ladies in White

Dozens arrested on International Human Rights Day


HAVANA TIMES — Dozens of “Ladies in White” and other Cuban activists were arrested today in downtown Havana to thwart a planned protest march on International Human Rights Day, reported dpa news.

The women attempted to organize a peaceful anti-government march similar to those usually held on Sundays in the Miramar district of the capital.

By noon the Police had already arrested some 30 activists on the corner of L and 23rd Streets of Vedado and took them away in patrol and other vehicles. “¡Long live human rights!” -shouted several of the women at the time of their arrest.

Hundreds of government supporters were assembled to greet the protest with a so-called “repudiation rally” in which they harass and threaten dissidents. A heavy police presence was noted in the surrounding areas.

Several days before, the Ladies in White had called to repeat their protest held on International Human Rights Day on the same corner the previous year.

The leader of the group of wives of former political prisoners, Berta Soler, was not available. The authorities routinely temporarily disconnect cell phones of activists, often when protests or marches on specific dates as the International Human Rights Day are planned.

For years now, opposition activists denounce the short-term arrests to avoid concentrations of dissent. The detainees are usually released within hours or days without any charges filed against them.

The government of Raul Castro does not recognize the political opposition and accuses dissidents of being “mercenaries” financed from abroad to destabilize the country. This can include anyone publically disagreeing with government policies.

10 thoughts on “Cuba Gov. Cracks Down on Ladies in White

  • I don’t agree with you but for the sake of discussion, let’s assume everything you say is true. Is Castros’ Cuba any better? At least in the US, we work towards change for the better. In Cuba, there is no change. Rather than justify the tyranny in Cuba by pointing out the flaws in the US, why don’t you simply suggest something better for Cuba? Not once, while we are self-criticizing here in the US do you hear defenders of racist police or Wall Street greed say, “In Cuba…” We solve, or at least try to solve our problems, without comparing ourselves to people who we believe are worse off.

  • Don’t be ridiculous. I was there in Oakland when the OWS protesters were arrested. They were sleeping, defecating, and urinating in public parks, defacing public property, setting garbage bins on fire and all sorts of other illegal acts. The act of protesting itself is legal in the US. In Cuba it is illegal. I don’t know you and I won’t pretend to know what you want. You, likewise, don’t know me so don’t say what you think I want. The US is hardly perfect. We do however, eventually get it right. The Castros are the ones who don’t want freedom. They just want to stay in control.

  • I was going to provide a detailed response, but then again one isn’t really required. The underlining theme of this post is simple and follow the same “talking point” the Cuban government always puts out; Cuba’s problems are always someone else’s fault. (And now that Venezuela is following the Cuban model and is suffering shortages of all types and one of the highest crime rates in the world, their mantra is; its someone else’s fault.)

    The truth is that after 1959 Cuba has made no progress; not in agriculture, infrastructure, and despite the propaganda medicine. Just ask the millions of Cubans who have fled the island. You don’t see Americans risking their lives rafting over to Cuba.

  • This is the obvious reality. The only part of Cuba currently under direct US control is an international torture center. Listening to racist right-wing Americans talk about how the USA is a free country are insane. There are millions in prison, where rape is endemic — mostly for non-violent offenses. Black people are under the gun of police. Tonight in NYC tens of thousands marched after the police murdered an unarmed black man who said, “please leave me alone” — so they CHOKED HIM TO DEATH ON CAMERA.

    Uprisings across the country, the greatest since Occupy, where the government arrested over 6,000 people for pointing out that big capitalists wrecked the US economy and have shut the rest of the people from any real say in government. This is not a democracy. During the last election, only 28% of eligible voters in New York state voted, the governor is the son of a former governor.

    Cuba people aren’t stupid. The same people who impose a decades-long embargo aren’t trying to help Cuba. They want to pimp Cuba and everybody knows it. Look at what the capitalists did to Eastern Europe! It’s a wreckage zone, mass unemployment, fascist politics and racism, mass prostitution of women. That’s what “democracy” looks like when you’re dealing with an empire bent on conquering you.

    Cuba — seriously, don’t listen to these “Ladies in White” — they are traitors. They don’t go to Gitmo to protect the human rights of the people the USA tortures, no. Of course not. Why would they protest their employers?

  • The right to peaceably protest in the USA? Like the 6,000+ arrests around Occupy Wall Street? Or the hundreds in NYC over the last few days following the police murder of an unarmed black man for saying “please leave me alone?”

    Moses Patterson doesn’t want freedom, but privilege and entitlement. Just like the pimps chased of Cuba in 1959.

    The USA is not a free country, and the part of Cuba controlled by the USA is RIGHT NOW a torture camp.

  • Depend upon Moses and Griffin to chime in about this alleged human rights abuse. Meanwhile, back in the “land of the free” every new day brings more reports of blacks, hispanics, not to mention poor whites, being murdered by the cops. Internationally, the C.I.A. tortures and murders at “black sites” around the world. Sounds like the Cuban authorities were merely taking the “Women in White” into “protective custody” from the just wrath of the rapid response brigades. Perhaps the WinW and the rapid response brigades should be allowed to have a go at it. In my early days protesting the War in Vietnam the cops would stand aside while we were attacked by right wingers. Once, on the campus at the U. of Penn in Philly, circa 1965, a right- winger attempted to sieze my sign. He might have been under the illusion that I was a pacifist. I quickly disillusioned him of that by holding tightly to my plackard and thrusting its base, like the butt of a rifle (as I had learned previously in boot camp, circa 1961) up underneath his chin, knocking him on his ass. Was he surprised!

  • So that makes it okay? Really?

  • Well at least they were not shot like US cops do to black and Latino men…

  • I defy the legion of Castro sycophants who monitor this blog to justify the Castros pathetic arrests and detentions of middle-aged women intent upon solely to march peacefully through the streets of Havana? On International Human Rights Day of all days! Where is Walter Teague or Dan or Pipefitter or any number of Castro defenders on this one? Please, if you dare to respond, resist the temptation to make comparisons to the US unless you are willing to admit that in the US, there exists the RIGHT to peacefully march to express your grievance with the government. What possible ‘national security threat’ could several dozen women dressed in white clothes and armed with fresh gladiolas pose to the Castro dictatorship? I am all ears on this one….

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