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Laura Pollán Ladies in White Civic Movement Letter to President Obama

Laura Pollán Ladies in White Civic Movement Letter to Obama
Posted on March 13, 2016
10 March 2016

His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama
President of the United States of America

I extend to you the most cordial welcome to our country and wish you a
happy stay in this land, which you can now feel as your own.

Cuba and the United States of America share a long history of friendship
which has not been erased throughout more than 57 years of dictatorship
in my country. It is time now that our citizens to meet at the middle of
the bridge, and what they feel cannot be separated by any government or

We, as members of the Laura Pollán Ladies in White Civic Movement, an
NGO dedicated to the liberation of political prisoners and aid to our
people in general, thank you for the courage you have shown in changing
an approach that has not been effective for more than five decades in
transforming the current state of affairs in my country. The
dictatorship gains strength from confrontation, and not from negotiation
and compromise.

Our nation needs a change. Civil society has been growing, stimulated by
so many decades of hardships and attempts to destroy it. You can do much
for our people. Empowering our population is among the first steps to
achieve several of our objectives: of , of the press,
a multi-party system, and a dignified future for our children.

We know that it is still too soon to appreciate the results of these
policy changes, but we are confident that subsequent US administrations
will know how to build upon this first rock that you bravely dedicated
to the liberty of our people. Cuba is grateful for it, and needs it.

We believe in your sincerity when you say that your efforts are to
empower our civil society and not to support a government that has
visited great afflictions on its populace. The politics of compromise is
vital to achieve peaceful and lasting changes, as you said on 17
December 2014. Perhaps you have been able, as none of your predecessors,
to convince the Cuban government that it is time for a change.

My mother, Laura Pollán, who died under circumstances that lead to
suspicions she was assassinated, was always very clear about the role
her government, as well as others of the free world, would play in the
changes that necessarily needed to come. For her labor in defense of the
rights of Cubans and the promotion of democracy, she was honored, during
your administration, by the National Endowment for Democracy.

We hope that during this very short visit you will plan on the
possibility of hearing from the lips of our people and our civil society
the reality that we live in Cuba. We would like for you to meet with us
as part of that opposition with which you said you would consult during
your visit. From our women you will hear firsthand all that is happening
in our nation, and the sentiments of the Cuban woman who, like Michelle,
love freedom.

When you depart from our country on 22 March, I assure you that you will
carry Cuba in your heart, and you will hold in your hand one of your
greatest achievements.

You will know how to represent the free world, and you will be the voice
for those of us who cannot speak.

Laura María Labrada Pollán
Laura Pollán Ladies in White Civic Movement

Source: Along the Malecon (Tracey Eaton)

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

Source: Laura Pollán Ladies in White Civic Movement Letter to President
Obama | Translating Cuba –

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