Honoring Laura Pollan

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
More statements on the passing of Ladies in White founder, Laura Pollan:

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic received with sorrow the death of Laura Inés Pollan Toledo, founder of the Cuban dissident Ladies in White movement and expresses its deepest sympathy to all bereaved."

-- Slovak Republic

"Laura Pollán gained widespread recognition of the democratic world and will remain an example of the greatest sacrifice for the sake of human rights and basic freedoms."

-- Republic of Poland

"[Pollan] leaves a legacy of determination, courage, and creativity. Her powerful belief in justice was ultimately rewarded when dozens of wrongly imprisoned dissidents and journalists, including her husband, were freed from prison over the last two years, in large part due to her efforts.

-- Committee to Protect Journalists

"For nearly a decade, she helped to stage weekly protests with other wives of political prisoners to press for their release. She never missed a week, regardless of whether it rained or if the island was awaiting the imminent arrival of a hurricane. She also never gave up hope that her voice, and the voices of so many other families, would be heard."

-- International Federation of Liberal Youth

"We are saddened by her death, but we continue to be inspired by her life and by the Ladies in White. We pledge to champion justice and freedom for all who, like Laura, persevere in the face of persistent threats, insults, and government attempts to silence their work.”

-- Human Rights First

"Someday when the walls of the Castro Regime are torn down, Cubans and the rest of the world will recognize Laura Pollan as one of the heroes responsible for that moment."

-- International Republican Institute

"While newspapers around the world reported on the death of Laura Pollan, Granma, the official paper of the Communist Party, and all the papers of Cuba’s provinces remained silent. This reaction is a given, considering the pettiness of a government that cannot feel sympathy at the death of an opponent. The Castro regime has never been able to pause in its belligerence, never been able to offer condolences.

But this silence also stems from its fear of this little teacher of Spanish, the fear that sticks, even now, in officials’ throats. The leader of the Ladies in White is dead, and no one in Cuba will ever carry a gladiolus in his or her hands without thinking of Laura Pollan."

-- Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez in The Washington Post