Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cuba's Ladies in White - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

Cuba's Ladies in White - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

After 53 years of revolution, Cubans are increasingly exasperated by the restrictions imposed on them by the country's change-averse communist regime.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, recent modest economic reforms, activism is growing as the government's opponents overcome their fear of arrest and take to the streets.

But it is not easy. Today, even the church-based Ladies in White - a group of female relatives of imprisoned activists - say they are routinely spied on and arrested.

This year they achieved brief international notoriety when they were prevented from meeting Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the island, but for the most part their activities are carried out under the ever-present threat of harassment and intimidation by Cuba's internal security police.
Nevertheless, inspired by the Arab Spring, the Ladies are determined to keep up their protests, sensing that the regime's grip on power is fading and that sooner rather than later it will be forced to give way.

But what is it like to live in such a pervasive culture of surveillance and fear? People & Power sent an independent undercover journalist to find out. He has asked us not to reveal his identity because he may wish to visit Cuba again in the future, but in the article below he describes what it was like to make the film and the many difficulties facing the activists he met.

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