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Women marchers arrested in Cuban capital

AFP | Last Updated: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 00:41

Havana: Cuban authorities arrested about a hundred women Sunday, breaking up a march by the opposition group Ladies in White.

Shouting "Freedom! Freedom!," the women offered no resistance as they were boarded onto buses by police and agents in plain clothes.

A group of about 100 government supporters, who arrived along with the authorities at the scene in Havana`s Miramar district, shouted "Viva Fidel, Viva Raul" as the women were taken away.
The women`s group, formed in 2003 by wives of political prisoners, marches every Sunday in the Cuban capital after hearing mass at Santa Rita parish church, with the government`s permission.

But dozens of police moved in and surrounded the marchers two blocks from the church after they headed toward the sea instead of along their usual route on Miramar`s Quinta Avenida.

The march coincided with the 20th anniversary of an incident in which 37 people, including 10 children, drowned trying to flee the communist-ruled island in a tugboat.
The tugboat sank after being intercepted by four Cuban vessels, which survivors said doused it with water cannon and rammed it.

A Cuban exile group marked the anniversary by launching fireworks Saturday night from a small flotilla of boats in waters off Havana, organizers said.

The Ladies in White, the only opposition group allowed to march in Havana, was awarded the European Parliament`s Sakharov Prize in 2005.

First Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 00:41
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