By Nerea Díaz and Ana Blázquez
Madrid, Aug 4 (EFE).- At least 26 women in Cuba have been killed by their intimate partners so far in 2021, according to Red Femenina, an organization for the empowerment of Cuban women based in Spain.
But with a mentality still very much “anchored in the past,” Cuba is the only country in the Western hemisphere to not recognize gender violence as a crime.
Cuban women are therefore not only subject to crime, but to institutional violence.
The injustice has led to a wave of peaceful protests of women fighting for their rights, against the normalization of gender violence, according to director of Red Feminia, Elena Larrinaga.
“Women are the driving force behind the demonstrations, since they are victims of a totalitarian government that does not take into account the physical and psychological abuses and mistreatment they suffer,” María Cristina Labrada, a member of the opposition movement in Cuba, Ladies in White, told Efe.
Ladies in White was founded in 2003 by the wives of 75 human rights activists sentenced by the Cuban government.
Today, members of the movement have become the leaders of a new wave of civil protest fighting for women’s freedom in Cuba.
“It is no longer a minority of women who oppose the Cuban government, (…) these demonstrations are helping many to realize that our rights have been taken away from us and we must recover them,” human rights activist from Havana, Tania García, told Efe.
But the fight comes at a price.