Cuba's 'Ladies in White' call for release of 13 prisoners Castro vowed to free

The Miami HeraldNovember 9, 2010 

Cuba's Ladies in White and other dissidents vowed Monday to take to the streets if the government does not soon release the 13 opponents it had promised to free from jail.

``If not, we will continue to fight in the streets for the freedom of all political prisoners,'' said Berta Soler, whose husband Angel Moya, one of the 13, is serving a 20-year sentence.

Havana dissident Martha Beatriz Roque told reporters that if the 13 are not freed soon there would be a mobilization of the ``opposition on the streets'' and ``a general movement in the prisons.''

The Raúl Castro government and Cuba's Catholic church were silent Monday on the continued imprisonment of the 13 dissidents after an informal deadline of Sunday passed.

They were the last of 52 dissidents that the Castro government had promised to free. The other 39 were released after they accepted exile in Spain.

Soler, a leader of the Ladies in White, who are all relatives of political prisoners, said the group tried but failed to talk Monday to Cardinal Jaime Ortega, whose office has made all the announcements on releases of political prisoners.

``We're trying to talk to the Cardinal, and nothing so far,'' Soler said by telephone from Havana. ``We are waiting, but we still have hope that they will be freed, as promised.''

Dissident Guillermo Fariñas issued but then withdrew a threat to resume a 134-day hunger strike, which had put him near death. It appears that hunger strike may have helped push Castro to agree to free the dissidents.

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