Saturday, October 15, 2011

Laura Pollán (1948-2011)

Laura Pollán was a human rights crusader who fought to expand basic liberties in Cuba. Her deep desire for change drove her. But there was something else motivating her: Her love for her husband, Héctor Maseda.

Maseda was a journalist who was jailed in 2003. Pollán founded Las Damas de Blanco to push for the release of not only Maseda but 74 other dissidents, democracy activists and journalists jailed as part of the so-called Black Spring crackdown.

Even after Pollán and other Las Damas members achieved their goal with the freeing of the Group of 75, Pollán continued her fight. She and other members of Las Damas took to the streets and marched every Sunday morning.

Laura Pollán
Waiting for Pollán at her home, at Calle Neptuno No. 963 in Havana, was her husband, who was one of the last of the 75 prisoners to be freed, and their dog.

Cuban authorities vilified Pollán in the state-run media, calling her a "mercenary" who received money from U.S. government-financed organizations. Others praised Pollán as a hero, a woman of great courage. Whatever your view, Pollán was an important player in Cuba's transition to the post-Castro era.

Links: Mobile version of same video To download mobile version, right click here, select Save File As, then Save.


Mambi_Watch said...

Hello Tracy,

This is terrible news. But, thank you for your pictures and videos of Laura Pollan. She will be remembered.

Unknown said...

Thank you Tracey. Laura was a sweet and humble woman who opened her house and her heart to everybody in Centro Habana. This has been a terrible lost for the emergent political movement! God help Maseda and Laurita Labrada in these sad moments!

alongthemalecon said...

Thanks for the comments. Claudia, I think the first time I met you and interviewed you may have been at Laura's house...