» Press Releases

Vaclav Havel in Solidarity with the Ladies in White
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

The former Czech president Václav Havel sent a letter to Strasbourg in which he expressed his solidarity with the Ladies in White and with Cuba’s political prisoners, according to Kristina Prunerová of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba (ICDC). Blanca Reyes, representative abroad of the Ladies in White, residing in Spain, read Václav Havel’s letter. President Havel is one of the founders of the ICDC.  The letter expresses support for the civic struggle being waged against the Cuban dictatorship and declares his solidarity as well as the hope that there will be worldwide solidarity with these women struggling for the liberation of their loved ones and for all those arbitrarily incarcerated in Cuba.

In light of the Cuban government’s refusal to permit the Ladies in White to travel to Europe to receive the Sakharov Prize [the European Union’s prestigious annual prize for freedom of thought and human rights] a group of European Deputies have asked the European Parliament to demand that Havana allow the delivery of the Sakharov Prize to the Ladies in White. “Members of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba, (who are also) members of Parliament proposed that additional pressure be placed on the Cuban government so that the Sakharov Prize winners, that is the five Ladies in White and also Oswaldo Paya be able to visit the European Parliament,” said Václav Havel.

The five women are: Laura Pollán, wife of Héctor Maseda, Miriam Leiva, wife of Oscar Espinosa Chepe, Berta Soler, wife of Ángel Moya, Loyda Valdés, wife of Alfredo Felipe Fuente, and Julia Núnez, wife of Adolfo Fernández Saínz they were selected by the Ladies in White in order receive the Prize representing them at the ceremony.

Euro deputies José Ribeiro e Castro, Edward McMillan-Scott, Ignacio Salafranca, Vytautas Landsbergis and Cecilia Malmström, members of the ICDC, emphasized that in case that the dictatorship prevents the Ladies in White to travel to Europe, they themselves would take charge to go to Cuba and to personally give the award to the spouses of the political prisoners. 

The wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers of Cuban political prisoners formed the group Ladies in White more than two years ago, when a massive government crackdown jailed 75 dissidents.  Dressed in white and with flowers in their hands, the women have maintained weekly a silent march to protest the imprisonment of their loved ones.

The others awarded this year with the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for their defense of human rights are Nigerian lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim she has challenged through the courts cruel and inhuman forms of punishment carried out under Islamic Sharia law such as the stoning of women accused of adultery and young boys sentenced to amputation for petty crime, and Robert Menard, of Reporters without Borders, an organization that defends freedom of the press.

Freddy Valdes

Radio Prague


Send by E-mail | Printable Version


About the author

Directorio Democrático Cubano Cuban Democratic Directorate


Directorio Democrático Cubano
P.O. Box 110235
Hialeah, Florida 33011
Tel. 305-220-2713

© Copyright 2006 Directorio Democrático Cubano. All rights reserved.