File photo of Cuban dissident Berta Soler, leader of the Damas de Blanco (the Ladies in White), during an interview on November 27, 2016 in HavanaRONALDO SCHEMIDT
Berta Soler, leader of the Cuban dissident movement Damas de Blanco (the Ladies in White), was arrested on Sunday in Havana, along with two other women from this movement, her husband, the former political prisoner, told AFP. Angel Moya.
“They were arrested at approximately 11:00 am, when they were preparing to go to Santa Rita”, the church in the Miramar district where they usually attend mass, he explained.
They then planned to march through the center of the Cuban capital to demand the release of the island’s political prisoners.
In addition to Mrs. Soler, were arrested by plainclothes police Lourdes Esquivel and Gladys Capote, two members of the movement, as well as Barbara Ferrat, the mother of Jonathan Torres, a 17-year-old arrested on July 11, 2021 during the major protest marches , and still awaiting trial, said Mr. Moya.
To cries of “freedom” and “we are hungry”, thousands of people demonstrated on July 11 in nearly 50 Cuban cities. One person was killed and dozens injured during these demonstrations. Some 1,277 people were also arrested, of whom 727 are still in prison, according to the human rights organization Cubalex. Many of these detainees have been tried in recent weeks.
Moya, one of 75 political prisoners arrested during the “black spring” of 2003, said that “as usual” the police did not tell him where his wife and other arrested women were.
The United States Embassy in Cuba condemned the arrests. “The (Cuban) regime should stop intimidating activists and concerned mothers. We demand their immediate release and support them and all other political prisoners in Cuba,” the embassy said on its Twitter account.
The opposition is not legal in Cuba and dissidents, frequently arrested for short periods of time, are considered mercenaries in the pay of the United States.