- Title: CUBA: Peaceful protests mark human rights day
- Date: 11th December 2010
- Summary: VARIOUS OF STUDENTS DANCING SALSA MAN SHOWING SIGN WITH PICTURES OF FIDEL AND RAUL CASTRO, READING: "Faithful to their ideas." PEOPLE DANCING SIGN READING: "Down with the blockade. Long live the Revolution, long live Cuba." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE DANCING
- Embargoed: 26th December 2010 03:21
- Location: Cuba, Cuba
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA9OZ5EXN0D3LE00D50L6ML1T33
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Members of the dissident group Ladies in White staged brief protests in front of two prisons while pro-government Cuban youths danced salsa in the park as islanders marked a comparatively peaceful international Human Rights Day on Friday (December 10).
In contrast to years past, there were no known clashes between government opponents and supporters, but at least two dissidents were reported detained by authorities on their way to a demonstration.
The Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) group stood outside the island's largest prison, Combinado del Este, on the outskirts of Havana and shouted "Freedom" and "Long live human rights" as they demanded the release of political prisoners in Cuban jails, including 11 of their family members imprisoned since a 2003 government crackdown.
They are the last of 52 prisoners President Raul Castro agreed to free in a July deal brokered by the Catholic Church, and some are in the two Havana prisons.
"Today is the International Human Rights Day and because of that, we are here demanding the non-violation of our rights and the release of political prisoners, which is a great violation," said Ladies in White leader Laura Pollan.
Another group of the Ladies in White staged a similar protest at the 1580 prison in the Havana suburbs, and in both cases they did so without incident.
On Thursday, the group marched through Havana, where about 200 students and government workers surrounded them while shouting derogatory slogans.
Last year on Dec. 10, they and other dissidents were greeted by hostile mobs backing the communist-led Cuban government, which views dissidents as traitors in the employ of its ideological enemy, the United States.
Cuban dissidents Darsi Ferrer and his wife Yusnaimy Jorge Soca had planned an anti-government march on Friday in a park in Havana's Vedado neighborhood but were detained before their arrival, diplomats and dissidents said.
Instead, youthful government supporters filled the park, where they danced salsa and at one point held up pictures of victims of a 1976 Cubana Airlines plane bombing Cuba blames on anti-Castro exile Luis Posada Carriles now living in Miami.
Cuban leaders say the free education and health services they provide all Cubans show their respect for human rights.
Public protests are rare in Cuba, but the Ladies in White stage a march each Sunday in Havana, usually without incident.
The annual Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of the Dec. 10, 1948 adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.