Press Statement
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 15, 2011


We are deeply saddened by the death of the founder of the Damas de Blanco, Laura Pollan. She was a courageous human rights defender who fought valiantly on behalf of political prisoners in Cuba. Cuba has lost one of its most important voices of conscience. We offer our sincere condolences to her family, which has lost a loyal wife and mother. Mrs. Pollan will be remembered with gratitude by scores of former political prisoners who are now free thanks to her and the Damas. Through them, and all who work for a democratic future in Cuba, her legacy will endure.

Through Mrs. Pollan's and the Damas' brave actions, the world bears witness to the plight of those who remain unjustly held in Cuba's prisons and to Cuba's dismal human rights record.

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the United States has engaged the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their future and Cuba's future.



PRN: 2011/1736