Women in White to seek Havana cardinal's help to end repression

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The leaders of the Women in White announced that they will meet with the Archbishop of Havana on June 7 to ask that he intercede to put an end to the repression of the communist government.

Berta Soler, the leader of the protest group, told AFP that she is “happy” Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino will receive the women because they have “wanted to speak with him for a long time.”

In May of 2010, the Archbishop of Havana began talks with the Castro government to negotiate the release of 130 political prisoners.  A large number of them were exiled to Spain.

By meeting with the cardinal, Soler said, her group is “not criticizing the cardinal nor are we trying to discredit him, but rather, we are grateful to him for the release of our family members. But when we need to clear up something that is not clear, we do so.”

Soler will be accompanied by three other members of the group to ask Cardinal Ortega to negotiate an end to the repression “against the Women in White and the rest of the internal opposition.”

“We also want to ask him to intercede before (Pope) Benedict to ask that he meet with a delegation of the Women in White,” Soler added.

Begun in 2003 after the arrest of their family members in Cuba, the Women in White demonstrate nearly every Sunday by wearing all white and walking through the streets to bring awareness to the communist government's actions.

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