Ladies in White

The Archbishop of Havana Receives the Ladies in White
DDC | La Habana | 17 de Febrero de 2017 – 10:54 CET.

The leader of the Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), Berta Soler, and
María Cristina Labrada Varona, representing the women’s movement, met on
Wednesday morning with the Archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad
García Rodríguez.

Soler informed DIARIO DE CUBA that the discussion went ahead in spite of
extreme vigilance exercised by the political police “since they left the
national headquarters in Lawton until they arrived at the Archbishopric.”

“The PNR’s Car 09 was following us from our departure until we reached
the Archbishopric, but, thank God, we arrived and had a one-hour meeting
with the archbishop,” Soler explained.

“We transmitted our concerns to him, and the problems that we are facing
with regime forces, which have prohibited us from participating in any
masses in the country, not just on Sundays,” she explained.

“We offered him the names of the State Security agents who promised to
block us from churches across the country. We explained the new modus
operandi they have adopted against us to undermine and dismantle our
movement, and the fines that are imposed on us just for not carrying our
IDs,” she added.

In this regard they spoke to the prelate about the need for the Catholic
Church to speak out against these human rights violations, but, above
all, against the attack being perpetrated on the religious freedom of
the Ladies in White.”

“He was very receptive and told us that he was going to do everything in
his power, and ask the Cuban Government to hold a meeting with the
opposition, and establish a dialogue, but that has not happened. He left
the door open for another meeting,” said the leader.

“We conveyed to him our hope that by a future meeting he would have some
kind of answer.”

Monsignor García “gave us each a family Bible, dedicated it to us, and
blessed us. We went way optimistic. The change has been terrible. Juan
was very amiable, very kind in response to everything we told him. There
were even smiles,” she concluded.

Juan de la Caridad García was named the metropolitan archbishop of
Havana in May of last year, succeeding Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino.

At his investiture ceremony he identified the poor, the elderly,
prisoners and the marginalized as the primary targets he wished to aid
through his mission.

He recently called for socialism, and not capitalism, to progress in
Cuba and in another statement condemned abortion as “the first violation
of the human rights.” He also reiterated some traditional appeals made
by the Catholic Church before the State, such as access to the country’s
schools and jails, and its regular presence in the mass media.

Source: The Archbishop of Havana Receives the Ladies in White | Diario
de Cuba – www.diariodecuba.com/derechos-humanos/1487325294_29028.html

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