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Cuba: Laura Pollan, the Ladies in White - Freedom, Not Exile - English / español

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Uploaded on Nov 10, 2010

Laura Pollan, spokeswoman of the Ladies in White, or "Las Damas de Blanco," pledges that the Ladies will continue marching peacefully until the 12 political prisoners in Cuba who have refused exile are given a pardon and allowed to remain in their country.

The Ladies in White is a civil society group inside Cuba that organizes peaceful Sunday marches for freedom and human rights. The world-renowned group is formed by the wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and supporters of political prisoners who were arrested during the "Black Spring" government crackdown on Cuban dissidents in 2003.

In July 2010, the Roman Catholic Church of Havana announced that the Cuban government agreed to exile the 52 Black Spring prisoners who still remained in prison. The government committed to releasing all the prisoners within four months—by November 7. With the deadline for their release passed, 39 prisoners have been forced into exile in Spain. Twelve prisoners refused anything but an unconditional release. They remain in prison as of today.

Laura Pollán, portavoz de las Damas de Blanco, afirma que el grupo continuarán marchando pacíficamente hasta lograr el indulto y la liberación de los doce prisioneros de consciencia que no quieren dejar Cuba.

Las Damas de Blanco es un grupo de la sociedad civil cubana que todos los domingos organiza en La Habana marchas pacíficas por la libertad y los derechos humanos en Cuba. El grupo es reconocido internacionalmente y está formado por las esposas, madres, hermanas, hijas y otras mujeres que apoyan a los disidentes encarcelados durante la llamada "Primavera Negra" de marzo de 2003.

Ante las gestiones del gobierno español y la mediación de la Iglesia, Cuba se comprometió entonces a poner en libertad a los 52 prisioneros restantes en los siguientes cuatro meses, fijando el 7 de noviembre como fecha límite. En los meses siguientes, treinta y nueve prisioneros fueron exiliados a España. Sin embargo, doce han rechazado el destierro y hoy permanecen en las cárceles cubanas en calidad de criminales convictos, a pesar de haberse cumplido el plazo para su liberación.

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