We are deeply saddened by the death of the founder of the Damas de Blanco, Laura Pollan. She was a courageous human rights defender who fought valiantly on behalf of political prisoners in Cuba. Cuba has lost one of its most important voices of conscience. We offer our sincere condolences to her family, which has lost a loyal wife and mother. Mrs. Pollan will be remembered with gratitude by scores of former political prisoners who are now free thanks to her and the Damas. Through them, and all who work for a democratic future in Cuba, her legacy will endure.
Through Mrs. Pollan’s and the Damas’ brave actions, the world bears witness to the plight of those who remain unjustly held in Cuba’s prisons and to Cuba’s dismal human rights record.
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the United States has engaged the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their future and Cuba’s future.
The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and colleagues of Laura Pollán, the founder of Las Damas de Blanco, who passed away Friday in Havana. Pollán and the quiet dignity of the Ladies in White have courageously voiced the core desire of the Cuban people and of people everywhere to live in liberty. Through their brave actions, the Ladies in White draw attention to the plight of those who are unjustly held in Cuba’s prisons and pushed Cuban authorities to release those political prisoners wrongly jailed in the Spring of 2003.
Since the beginning of the Administration we have worked to reach out to the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their future and Cuba’s future. We will continue that work in Pollán’s memory.