Washington, D.C., April 21, 2008 – This morning Radio Martí broke the story of a peaceful protest by the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) in front of Revolutionary Square in Central Havana. In live broadcasts of cell phone conversations from the protest site, two group members told Radio Martí that they were calling for the release of political prisoners in Cuba and attempting to deliver their petition in a letter to Raul Castro.
Witnesses reported that Cuban authorities disbanded the protest by force, describing how police carried protestors to a bus and took them away from the site.
The Damas de Blanco was formed in 2003 following the arrests of 75 prominent dissidents, human rights activists, and independent journalists. The group is comprised of spouses and relatives of the dissidents. Every week they meet in Havana and march peacefully to call for the release of their family members. In 2005, the European Parliament bestowed upon the Damas de Blanco the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
Radio Martí, together with TV Martí, is part of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which broadcasts news and information to the people of Cuba. They are funded by the U.S. government and overseen by the presidentially appointed Broadcasting Board of Governors.
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which is funded by the U.S. government through the presidentially appointed Broadcasting Board of Governors, was established in 1990 to oversee the operations of Radio and TV Martí, which broadcast news and information to the people of Cuba.
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