The Ladies in White kicked off 2013 the same way they finished 2012: out on the streets, flowers in hand, demanding freedom for all political prisoners and, in sum, for Cuba.
According to a series of Twitter messages published by former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo (@ivanlibre), 44 of these women carried out their accustomed march down Havana’s 5th Avenue after assisting Mass in the Santa Rita Church.
Other tweets published by the dissident explained that in the province of Matanzas a total of 18 Ladies made it to church, despite police vigilance. Specifically, 11 made in the city of Cardenas, 2 in Perico and 5 in Colon.
In the Eastern province of Guantanamo, 8 Ladies in White reported that they achieved their objective and made it to Sunday Mass.
However, in Holguin- also in the East- several of these activists were arrested, declared Eleiny Villamonte Cardozo, a young Lady in White who made it to church but confirmed the detentions of others.
“I was able to make it because my husband took me on his bicycle and he managed to evade the police. I quickly got off and that’s how I made it to church”, said Villamonte, “In total, 3 of us were able to make it to church this Sunday”.
Among the more than 5 detainees whom the young activist mentioned were Bertha Guerrero Segura, representative of the group in Holguin province, and Romelia Pina Gonzalez.
This Sunday, January 6th, was also Three Kings Day- a tradition which, like Christmas, was prohibited for many years under the current communist dictatorship and which is still ignored and talked down on the State media (the only allowed press). To celebrate the date, a number of Ladies in White and other dissidents of diverse organizations on the island organized parties and gift exchanges for children.
Angel Moya Acosta, former political prisoner and husband of the national representative of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, wrote on his Twitter account (@jangelmoya) that the women managed to make it to their headquarters on Neptuno Street in Havana this Saturday, January 5th, with more than 40 children, giving them some toys and carrying out a small party for them in honor of the date.
Meanwhile, in Palmarito de Cauto, Palma Soriano, the also former political prisoner and leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, detailed on his own account (@jdanielferrer) that numerous children spent a moment of celebration among friends and family in the homes of various activists throughout that region this Sunday.
Similar activities also took place this Sunday throughout different parts of Santiago de Cuba, Velasco and Holguin, although some of these were interrupted by the repressive actions of the political police.
2013 has already begun with various civic demonstrations out on the streets of the country, which have been carried out by diverse pro-freedom groups from East to West.