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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Lourdes Esquivel
May 28, 2013Posted by on
After her first trip ever outside of Cuba to denounce the reality faced by those who defend freedom in the country, Berta Soler, the representative of the Ladies in White, has returned to the island this Monday, 27th of May.
Soler was received by her two children and her husband, dissident leader and former political prisoner of conscience Angel Moya Acosta, who used his Twitter account (@jangelmoya) to inform that, since early morning hours of Monday, State Security had set up various operations throughout the capital to arrest a number of Ladies in White who had plans to welcome Soler in the Jose Marti Airport.
Among the detainees were Leidis Coca and her husband, according to a message published by Moya, while other activists were surrounded in their homes by the State police, as was the case of Ladies in White Lourdes Esquivel and Sara Marta Fonseca, and dissident Andres Perez Suarez.
At around 10 PM, Moya confirmed that Berta Soler arrived and was “alongside her family and the Ladies in White”.
Meanwhile, the young Lady in White Sayli Navarro, from Matanzas, tweeted (@SayliNavarro), “Berta Soler embraces her family and the Ladies in White who waited for her. Welcome to your Cuba, the Cuba of all Cubans. Congratulations”.
It was precisely these numerous Ladies in White who stayed in Cuba who never stopped marching, Sunday after Sunday.
This past Sunday, May 26th, many of these women managed to surpass police cordons and arrive to their respective temples throughout the country to pray for the freedom of all political prisoners.
During morning hours the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and also former political prisoner, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, wrote in his Twitter (@jdanielferrer) that a total of 73 Ladies in White marched and assisted Mass in the province of Santiago de Cuba, despite obvious police operations set up in different regions.
10 Ladies in White marched and assisted Mass in the province of Guantanamo, confirmed Sayli Navarro.
Arrests were reported in the province of Holguin but have not yet been confirmed. In Holguin, each Sunday various women are impeded from arriving to church, seeing as the political police surrounds their homes since dawn hours and, in some cases, since the day before.
Navarro tweeted that a total of 21 Ladies participated in Mass in different cities of Matanzas province, according to Leticia Ramos Herreria.
Angel Moya confirmed that another 50 women marched down Havana’s 5th Avenue after participating in Mass at the Santa Rita Church. He added that “47 male human rights activists accompanied them”.
Berta Soler told the digital newspaper “Diario de Cuba” that she had returned “strengthened” to Cuba, considering that she found moral, spiritual and material support, especially on behalf of the Cuban exile.
Soler traveled to Cuba from Miami, where she had been in two occasions. (See video of her first visit to Miami here).Soler pointed out on various occasions during her trip that she did not consider the fact that she, and other dissidents, were allowed to travel outside of Cuba meant there were reforms in the country. Instead, she said it was the result of constant pressure on behalf of the opposition and that it was just an action taken to distract attention from the constant violence against activists, as well as the dire situation of numerous political prisoners.
The leader of the Ladies in White promised to take Cuba’s reality to the world, and she did. Now, she has returned to continue out on the streets, together with so many other mothers, daughters, sisters, and in sum, Cuban women and men who demand a free country.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Ángel Moya Acosta – Cell Phone: +53-820-595 / Twitter: @jangelmoya
Berta Soler – Cell Phone: +52-906-820
José Daniel Ferrer García – Cell Phone: +53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer
Sayli Navarro – Cell Phone: +52-731-652 / Twitter: @SayliNavarro
February 18, 2013Posted by on
After a week of arbitrary arrests, beatings, and deportations, the Ladies in White have once again made it clear that Sundays are sacred for them, as they have chosen to not abandon their marches to Mass throughout the country, despite any types of consequences. This 17th of February, various women were reportedly detained by the State Police, while many others were able to surpass cordons and make it to Mass, praying for the freedom of all Cubans.
Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, former political prisoner of conscience, used his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) to inform, from Cuba, about what was happening with the Ladies.
In Pinar del Rio it was confirmed that 4 Ladies in White marched and made it to church, according to messages published by Hernandez Carrillo. Another 3 women were detained: Caridad Peinado Gutiérrez, Lin Quiñones González and Iveth Pérez Pérez. Meanwhile, the representative of the group in that province- Noralys Martin Jiménez- was summoned to a police unit to be interrogated.
The repressive operations began early in Havana, according to messages sent out by also former prisoner of conscience Angel Moya Acosta on Twitter (@jangelmoya)
“Repressive forces have activated operations against Ladies in White in Havana”, wrote the activist, “various homes of these women have been surrounded by State Security officials”.
The result was the arrest of 15 women. Ivan Hernandez identified them as: Regla Ríos Casado, Anislay Martínez Mayor, Leonor Reinor Borges, Mirta Gómez Cola, Julia Estrella Aramburo Aguada, Marlene González González, Yanelis Flores Ramos, Adriana de la Caridad García, Yanislay Pavón Governa, Belkis Jorrin Morfa, Victoria Díaz Morfa, Mariela Lizama Rojas, Lourdes Esquivel Vleito, Sonia Pina González and Yaqueline Bornes Echevarría.
However, 37 marched and made it to Mass at Santa Rita Church.
In Matanzas province: 11 Ladies in White in the city of Cardenas, 5 in Colon, 2 in Perico and 1 in Central Espana managed to make it to church without being arrested.
Meanwhile, in the central province of Villa Clara it was reported and confirmed that 3 women assisted Mass and 3 did the same in the province of Ciego de Avila.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, another former political prisoner of conscience and national coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), informed on his Twitter (@jdanielferrer) that 56 Ladies in White surpassed police cordons throughout the province of Santiago de Cuba and arrived safely at the National Cobre Shrine, where they peacefully marched with flowers at hand and assisted Mass. “It is the highest number of Ladies in White which manage to make it to Mass in the Shrine since they started marching in July of 2011″, highlighted Ferrer.
In Guantanamo province 7 Ladies marched without being arrested, although under strict police surveillance.
In reference to the Ladies in White, Ferrer Garcia later tweeted: “Their valor, firmness and selfessness makes us all admire them and consolidates our faith in a soon free and democratic Cuba”.