This May 20th was the second consecutive Sunday in which the Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista managed to surpass a strong police cordon and arrive to the Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Church in the city of Holguin, this time accompanied by 5 other women of the group- Barbara Bauza, Romelia Piña González, Lisedis Piña González, Ana María Aguilera Paneque and Nelda Molina Leyva. The Sunday prior to this, only Caballero Batista was able to make it to church without being detained. Before this, the activist had not been able to assist Sunday Mass during 2012 because of constant arrests.
Caballero recounts that a large number of political police officials were shocked after they surrounded her home for hours during that morning to later find that she had already left and made it to church. Usually, the Lady in White cannot even walk two blocks from her home when she is violently taken into custody. This time, she used a new method.
When she arrived to the church, Caridad explained that there was “an immense police operation” waiting for the Ladies in White. “They had a number of buses, police cars, and motorcycles stationed just two blocks from the church. In fact, they were even using firefighters who were waiting to oppress us as well as female prison guards“.
Despite all of this, through the “new tactics“, the 6 Ladies in White were able to assist Sunday mass in its entirety. Upon arriving at the temple, Caballero Batista said that the churchgoers were overcome with emotion. They welcomed the women and chatted with them for a while.
However, other Ladies in White in Holguin did suffer arrests, as were the cases of Berta Guerrero Segura, Adisnidia Cruz, and Zuleidys Perez Velazquez, according to Caballero, who speculated that the number of arrests was most likely greater but she “could not confirm about other women because our telephone service was blocked during the entire time of our trip to church as well as after the Mass“.
“We were able to march. We walked with the gladiolus in our hands while the everyday people were staring at us, nervous at what could happen with us. The regime was not expecting this“, she said, clearly emotional, “Thanks to the grace of God, this Sunday- which is the second to last Sunday of Lent- we were able to assist Mass. We thanked God for having let us arrive, at least some of us“.
Caridad stood by her Christian faith, assuring that “through the help of his angels, Jesus Christ allowed us to arrive to church, proving that there is no authority which can hold us down“.
For more information Cuba:
Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone: +5352-629749 // Twitter: @caricaballero