“Ladies in White”

Protesting wives of political prisoners arrested before Obama’s arrival in Cuba

Members of "Ladies in White" protest on March 20, 2016 in Havana. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Dozens of women affiliated with “Ladies in White,” a Cuban dissident group formed by the wives of former political prisoners, were arrested while protesting the country’s communist government on Sunday. The AFP reports that the women had gathered at a church in Havana just hours before President Obama landed in Cuba for a historic three-day visit. Protesters were quickly ushered into police vehicles, but authorities on the scene would not say why they had been detained.

Members of Ladies in White are regularly arrested and promptly released, but this most recent incident cast a shadow on Obama’s visit, which marks the first time in 88 years that an acting president has visited Cuba. Obama hopes to end a decades-long chill between the United States and Cuba, and the White House has said that the President will discuss issues of human rights with Cuban leaders. Activists, however, are not convinced. Ladies in White leader Berta Soler told the AFP that she had been invited to meet Obama during his stay in Cuba, but was not sure if she would take up the offer. “You said you would not come here unless there had been advances in human rights,” she said, addressing the President, “and that hasn’t happened.”

Read the full story at Yahoo.

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