Berta Soler Speaks Out About State-Sponsored Violence Against Activists

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The World Movement for Democracy recently interviewed, Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, about the struggles and triumphs of being an activist in Cuba. The Ladies in White – mothers, wives and relatives protesting on behalf of political prisoners – are frequently targets of state-sponsored violence in Cuba. Cuban authorities often disrupt, arrest, and physically assault the peaceful activists during their weekly Sunday marches. Despite the government’s brutality, the Ladies in White have continued to march on, garnering support from the international community, and inspiring Cuban activists to stand up for democracy. Watch the trailer here.

Activists have even resorted to life-threatening hunger strikes to advance their protest against the state’s use of violence. The protestors include leading Cuban dissidents Guillermo Farina and Carlos Amel Oliva who have been on a hunger strike for the last month. Farina, a Sakharov prize winner, and Oliva, a leader of Union Patriotica de Cuba (UNPACU), were joined by twenty activists in the hope of ending the state-sponsored violence against them. Though Oliva and fellow UNPACU activists have ended their initial month long hunger strike, Farina has kept going, announcing that he is ready to die for their cause. The World Movement for Democracy has issued a DemocracyAlert in solidarity with the strikers’ struggle and calls for the Cuban government to end its harassment of civil society.