Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Almost enough to make one nostalgic for Fidel

People hoped that when communist dictator Fidel Castro ceded control of Cuba to his younger brother it might lead to reforms in the oppressive country. Anyone with knowledge of Raul Castro laughed at the prospect. Turns out the pessimists were proven right.
The government of Raul Castro cracked down on a group of peaceful women protesters known as the “Ladies in White.” These women are the wives of men arrested in a political crackdown in 2003 that landed 75 Cuban dissidents in prison on charges of working for the U.S. government. Fifty-five remain in jail.

The women had staged a sit-in next to Havana’s Revolution Square to demand that Raul Castro release their relatives. The women, some of whom sustained bruises and scratches, were forcibly loaded onto buses, driven home by police, and warned against participating in further protests.

The “Ladies in White” earned their name by marching silently every Sunday along Havana boulevard dressed in white. One of the founders, Miriam Leiva, told the press, “We were born out of government repression and we have no particular political agenda. Our objective is purely humanitarian, to free the prisoners of March 2003.”
For all his faults, Fidel Castro knew enough to ignore these ladies. Their previous protests didn't get much if any mainstream news coverage. Raul Castro's crackdown will be viewed as a sign of what direction he will take Cuba.



Blogger Ben said...

Anyone who thought Cuba would change under a new Castro was only fooling themselves.

April 27, 2008 at 11:24 PM


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