Leader of Cuban Protest Group Dies

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 10:00 pm (UTC-5)
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One of Cuba's leading dissidents, Laura Pollan, has died at the age of 63.

Members of the activist group Pollan founded, Ladies in White, said she died Friday in a Havana hospital.

Pollan was hospitalized on October 7 with respiratory problems.

The former teacher became one of Cuba's leading dissidents in 2003 after her husband and 74 other government opponents were jailed in a crackdown on dissidents.

Soon after the arrests, Pollan and other wives of the jailed dissidents began marching every Sunday in Havana, wearing white and carrying flowers to demand their husbands release.

In 2005, the European Union honored the group with its human rights Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

By 2010, all the dissidents jailed in the government crackdown were released from prison, but the Ladies in White continued to hold marches to protest Cuba's government.