Ladies in White leader meets with new Archbishop of Havana

Agents threaten to stop protesters from going to church, activist says

HAVANA – Berta Soler said she recently met with Havana's new Archbishop. Soler leads the Ladies in White, a group of family members of political prisoners. 

She said Roman Catholic Archbishop of Havana Juan de la Caridad Garcia gave her a bible. She said she told him that Cuban government agents had threatened the members of the Ladies in White with not being able to make their routine visit to a Catholic church.

While at her home in the Lawton neighborhood, Soler said the agents have threatened her family and children. Several police cruisers were parked outside, and neighbors said they had also seen undercover state security in the area.

"For us, the meeting was very positive," Soler said in Spanish. 

Pope Francis served as a powerful intermediary between President Raul Castro and President Barack Obama, and their move to normalize relations, which Soler believes hasn't changed much when it comes to human rights on the island. 

Soler asked De la Caridad to intercede and ask that the Cuban government stop interfering with their religious freedom and release political prisoners. 

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