Saturday, July 17, 2010

Future of Damas de Blanco?

Laura Pollan, leader of Damas de Blanco

Las Damas de Blanco has been a vital force in bringing international attention to the cause of Cuba's political prisoners.
The group is made up of mostly of wives and other relatives of 75 dissidents, journalists and others jailed in a government crackdown on dissent in March 2003.
In a dramatic move, Cuban authorities have begun releasing 52 prisoners, representing the last of the 75 who remained in prison.
Laura Pollan, leader of Damas de Blanco, said she and other members of the group will continue fighting until all political prisoners are freed.
Elizardo Sanchez, a leading human rights activist in Havana, said more than 100 political prisoners remain in Cuban jails.
A Cuban government official who spoke on condition of anonymity questioned that figure and said those remaining inmates are common criminals, not political prisoners.
All this raises questions:
In what form will Damas de Blanco continue to exist?
How many members of the group will drop out once their love ones are freed?
How many women will continue to march on Sundays?
And how will the United States government respond to the prisoner release?