Cuban Rights Group Honored by State Department

April 21, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Members of the Ladies in White group march during the Human Rights Day in Havana on December 10, 2010.  (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Ladies in White group march during the Human Rights Day in Havana on December 10, 2010. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
The U.S. State Department awarded a Cuban opposition group with a major human rights award on Thursday.

The The Ladies in White group, otherwise known as "Las Damas de Blanco," received the Human Rights Defenders Award as it “distinguishes itself not only by the depth of its commitment to the release of political prisoners, but by the full measure of its bravery in defense of human rights in Cuba” said William J. Burns, the State Department’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

The group has continuously provided a “poignant reminder” of the repression that goes on every day in Cuba’s communist regime, Burns added.

For example, after Cuba’s “Black Spring” crackdown in 2003, the Ladies aided in getting many prominent rights activists released.

The women march peacefully every Sunday in Havana while wearing white clothing, saying that the color represents peace.

“With much of the battle for human rights in Cuba forced underground, the Damas de Blanco kept marching,” Burns added.