Cuba’s Ladies in White march to honor dead leader

Cuba’s dissident Ladies in White staged their weekly protest march Sunday, despite the death of their leader Laura Pollan.

Men marched with the women Sunday in a show of support for the group and to honor Pollan, who died Friday at the age of 63.

The group’s new leader, Berta Soler, said the weekly marches will continue, as they have for eight years.

The protesters are reported to have shouted “Laura Pollan lives” instead of their usual “Freedom” at the end of Sunday’s march.

The Ladies in White are relatives of some of 75 dissidents arrested in a 2003 government crackdown in Cuba. The dissidents have all since been released.

Cuban writer Yoani Sanchez said in a Washington Post article, Ms. Pollan died after a five-day delay in diagnosing dengue fever in a country she says has been experiencing an intense outbreak of the disease for months.

Ms. Sanchez said while newspapers around the world reported Pollan’s death, Cuba’s Granma – the official paper of the Communist Party – and all other papers on the island remained silent.

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