In what seems to be a new divisive strategy more than an authentic attempt at negotiation, [Cuban] Security of State informed the Ladies in White, that there will not be any political prisoners freed while the Support Ladies continue participating in the Ladies in White’s marches, informed Radio Martí.

Independent journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira spoke with Laura Pollán, on of the leaders of the group, and she shared details of the recent interviews between the Ladies in White, members of the Archdiocese of La Habana and Security of State agents:

“A group representing the Ladies in White had a meeting at the [see of the] Archdiocese of La Habana on May 16th. They told us that the Support Ladies participation [in the marches] is hindering the negotiations between the Church and the government. We told both Security of State and the archdiocese that if they want they can tell the Support Ladies that they can’t come. However, Laura Pollán will never tell any woman not to come […] The Ladies in White are very grateful to the Support Ladies for all their support throughout these seven years. This is our position, and we have let it be known to Cardinal Jaime Ortega and Colonel Ernesto Samper of Security of State.”

Yesterday, Sunday [May 16th], 24 members of the Ladies in White marched on Quinta Avenida [5th Avenue] in Miramar between 30 and 22 streets.

En Banes, en cambio, las fuerzas de la Seguridad del Estado y las turbas parapoliciales conocidas como Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida impidieron a Reyna Luisa Tamayo y otros familiares y amigos del fallecido Orlando Zapata, asistir a la iglesia y visitar su tumba en el cementerio durante su natalicio, el 15 de mayo.

In Banes, however, Security of State forces and para-police mobs known as Rapid Response Brigades, prevented Reina Luisa Tamayo and other relatives and friends of late Orlando Zapata Tamayo from visiting his grave at the local cemetery on the occasion of his birthday on May 15th ."

Picture: The Ladies in White Melba Santana and Laura Pollán heading the march for the liberation of political prisoners this past Sunday May 16th, 2010. (Carlos Serpa Maceira, UPLC)

*They were later allowed. The strong control exerted by the regime over information within the island prevents some news updates from reaching all opposition activists in time.