Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cuban Moms Are Heroes Standing Up For Freedom

"They can either kill us, put us in jail or release them. We will never stop marching no matter what happens." - Laura Pollan, Ladies in White leader who died under suspicious circumstances

Trending over Twitter this evening was the hashtag and some courageous Cuban moms came to mind: The Ladies in White.  

Many Cuban moms are heroes standing up for freedom in Cuba using nonviolent means. Since March of 2003 a group of Cuban mothers formed the Ladies in White and began regularly demonstrating in the streets of Cuba demanding the release of all prisoners of conscience and the respect for human rights so that no new prisoners of conscience are ever again jailed in Cuba.

They have been threatened, badly beaten, and the founder of the movement, Laura Inés Pollán Toledo, died under suspicious circumstances on October 14, 2011.

The Cuban dictatorship is a totalitarian regime that is a tropical version of its ally North Korea. Despite this reality, these Cuban are risking all for a Cuba in which human rights are respected.

They are like the German housewives married to Jewish husbands in Rosenstrasse, Germany who in 1943 took to the streets to protest their loved ones being seized and taken to concentration. They managed to organize a sustained large protest movement that got them their loved ones back.

The Ladies in White got their husbands, brothers and sons back after more than seven years in prison but unlike the German women who then disbanded they have continued their campaign demanding that all Cuban prisoners of conscience be freed and human rights be respected.

This is why these women, now led by Berta Soler, are heroes standing up for the freedom of the Cuban people. Al Jazeera in their program People and Power broadcast the above story on these courageous Cuban moms in November of 2012.

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