The president of the International Council of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) has thanked the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Cuba for demonstrating increasing courage in issues relating to human rights and that he has met with the ‘Ladies in White’.
The chairman of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez, Archbishop of San Cristóbal de la Habana, met with the chairperson of the Ladies in White (Las Damas de Blanco), Berta Soler, not only as the first bishop to do so but also as the first important personality in Cuba to do so. At the same time, he also stated that secret agents who have spied on the Ladies in White would be excommunicated and excluded from mass if there identities were found out.
Las Damas de Blanco was founded in 2003 by relatives, primarily mothers, of 79 incarcerated regime critic. On Sundays they leave worship service at Santa Rita de Casia in Havanna dressed in white and go quietly along Quinta Avenida, a major street in the capital.