Women in White confident in Cardinal Ortega's diplomacy

Berta Soler, the leader of the protest group Women in White, said she trusts Havana's archbishop will be able to help end political repression in Cuba, following their recent meeting.

"It was a very open discussion and we left very content," Soler said of the June 7 meeting. "The cardinal was very receptive, and he listened to us."

The meeting between the members of the Women in White and Cardinal Ortega, which lasted over three hours, allowed the women to express their concerns for their imprisoned family members and seek the cardinal's intercession in ending repression by the communist government.

"The Cardinal can pass on our concern to the Cuban government, to Raul Castro, and the (appeal for) violence against the Women in White to diminish–that is in Raul Castro's hands," she said.

However, Soler noted that the "freedom of political prisoners is not in the Cardinal's hands but rather in the Cuban government's."

The Women in White also gave a letter to the cardinal, asking him to help them obtain a meeting with Pope Benedict.

"The doors of the Church have never been closed to the Women in White," Soler said. "We are going to continue knocking on the doors of the Catholic Church."

"We have confidence and faith in him, since we have a lot for which to thank him," Soler said.

In 2010 Cardinal Ortega played a role in the release of 130 political prisoners and in ending the "acts of repudiation" the government carried out against the Women in White for their protests.

The Women in White announced via Twitter that they would be meeting June 8 with the Apostolic Nuncio to Cuba, Archbishop Bruno Musaro.

They plan to deliver a letter to him requesting his help in obtaining an audience with the Pope, along with a list of the current political prisoners and the women from the group who were detained during the Holy Father's visit to Cuba in March.

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