Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘Ladies in White’

… Easter # 3 for a Prisoner of the Castros …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,April 28th,2014

.. I picked this one up from a favourite blog of mine , BabaluBlog . It was written for the WallStreetJournal byanother favourite of mine , Mary Anastasia O ‘ Grady ..

.. [h/t — BabaluBlog]..
.. [link] to M.A.O. ‘ s column from the W.S.J. …

Easter No. 3 for a Prisoner of Castro
Bearing witness to Cuba’s political persecution costs Sonia Garro her freedom.

Christians the world over celebrated the resurrection of their savior on Sunday with worship services and family gatherings. Thirty-eight-year-old Sonia Garro shares the faith too, but she spent the holiday in a Cuban dungeon as a prisoner of conscience, just as she has for the past two years.

Ms. Garro is a member of the Christian dissident group Ladies in White, started in Havana in 2003 by sisters, wives and mothers of political prisoners to peacefully protest the unjust incarceration of their loved ones. It has since expanded to other parts of the country and added many recruits. The group’s growing popularity has worried the Castros, and they have responded with increasing brutality.

Cuba’s military government wants us to believe that the Brothers Fidel and Raul Castro are “reforming.” To buy that line you have to pretend that Ms. Garro and her sisters in Christ don’t exist. Of course that’s often the impression one gets from Havana-based reporters working for foreign media outlets.

They’ve been invited into the country not to serve the truth but to serve the dictatorship. Fortunately, there are brave and independent Cuban journalists who continue to tell the Ladies’ story, despite scant resources.

In the late winter of 2012, Cubans were looking forward to a visit from Pope Benedict XVI and the Ladies were lobbying the Vatican for an audience. Their relentless pleading was embarrassing the dictatorship, which had been beating them in the streets on their way to Sunday Mass for almost a decade. It was also making the Church, which had already cut its own deal with the regime on the terms of the visit, look bad. On the weekend of March 17 Castro sent the Ladies a warning by locking up some 70 of their members.

Most of those detained, including leader Berta Soler, had been freed by the time the pontiff touched down in Cuba nine days later, but Ms. Garro was not. Benedict celebrated some Masses, did photo ops with the despots and left.

It was a clever strategy: The world saw the release of the many Ladies, which obscured the continued detention of the one. That one—poor, black and not well known internationally—serves, to this day, as a constant reminder of the wrath Castro will bring down on anyone in the barrios who gets out of line.

By 2012 Ms. Garro already had experience with state violence. Her record of counterrevolutionary activities included running a recreation center in her home for troubled youths. For that she was twice beaten by government-sanctioned mobs. She suffered a broken nose in police detention in 2010.

When security agents took her home to put her under house arrest ahead of the pope’s visit, she was met by a mob sent to harass her. Her husband, Ramon Alejandro Muñoz, had climbed to the roof and was chanting anti-dictatorship slogans. Two neighbors took the couple’s side. Special-forces police were called in. They raided the home, shot Ms. Garro in the leg with rubber bullets and hauled the couple and two neighbors to jail.

Eighteen months later prosecutors charged Ms. Garro with assault, attempted murder and public disorder. Her husband and one neighbor, Eugenio Hernández, are accused of attempted murder and public disorder. The prosecution is seeking a 10-year prison sentence for Ms. Garro, 14 years for Mr. Muñoz, and 11 years for Mr. Hernández.

Anyone who has ever read about Soviet show trials will recognize the state’s case. The prosecutors claim that Messrs. Muñoz and Hernández were both on the roof and knew a police officer could have been killed when they threw things to try to stop him from climbing a ladder to reach them.

The regime alleges that the couple had been planning street disturbances. The “evidence” confiscated from their home included bottles, machetes, rebar and cardboard protest signs. The state claims that containers with fuel found in the home were Molotov cocktails.

Every household item or piece of scrap found in a poor Cuban household is considered a weapon when the state wants to convict a prisoner. By its logic the frying pan and the iron should have been cited too. With good aim, they can be deadly. As to the combustibles inside the home, Ms. Garro’s sister Yamilet Garro told independent journalist Augusto Cesar San Martín Albistur, “the items were for lighting during the blackouts that are quite common in the area.” For Castro, the most dangerous items were the antigovernment signs.

Ms. Garro’s real crime is her refusal to surrender her soul to the state. That makes her an exemplary Christian but a lousy revolutionary. The peril she presents is showing Cubans how to be both.

Write to O’Grady@wsj.com

.. LEC here again — the column , and Ms. Garro ‘ s moral stands , speak for themselves …

Advertisements

Posted in moral opinion, moral question, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Arresting People — for their Religious Faith ?!?! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Friday,April 25th,2014

.. for celebrating Palm Sunday ? …

.. yes , it happened … in Cuba ..

.. [h/t — BabaluBlog]..
.. [link] to the blog news..

.. the Damas de Blanco (the Ladies in White) were among 30 people that were arrested for the celebration of their faith on Palm Sunday …

.. may God Bless You , Ladies in White !! …

Posted in freedom, moral opinion, moral question, moral stand, personal opinion, religious opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Continue What You are Doing ( ) ! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,May 15th,2013

… It was the praiseworthy blessing from one history – maker to another . Berta Soler , the putative leader of the Ladies in White (Cuba) was able to travel for the first time , courtesy of the government ‘ s new announced policy allowing Cuban citizens to travel somewhat freely for the first time . And , Boy , has she .

.. In this case , she made it to Rome , to the Vatican , for a Papal Audience with another history maker , the Catholic Church ‘ s Pope Francis I . His Holiness , who is Argentinian by birth , does not often single out individuals after any Papal function . Yet he did , specifically , with Berta , and blessed her . Better yet , he blessed her , and told her (Siga Adelante) to continue on with her holy work .

.. Berta Soler, 48, and another member of the “Women in White”, Clara Maria del Valle, both dressed in white, waited with anticipation,

.berta soler & his holiness .. may God Bless them Both !! ...

.berta soler & his holiness .. may God Bless them Both !! …

and when he reached them she spoke rapidly in Spanish. She told him, “We are the ‘Damas de Blanco’ from Cuba, the relatives of hundreds of political prisoners, and we ask for your help, and also for your blessing on us and all the people who are in need in Cuba.”

..Pope Francis listened attentively, smiled, held her hand, gave his blessing and told her, “Siga adelante!”  “Continue as you are doing!”

.. It was what she and the “Women in White” had long wanted to hear from the Pope. “It was a great day for me, we – the “Damas de Blanco” have always had great faith in Christ, and now it is doubled. ”

.. May God Bless Them Both !! ..

[h/t to BabaluBlog.com and IlStampa. (English edition)]

Posted in personal opinion, religious opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »