Castro Dissident Dies From ‘Cardiac Arrest’

    Laura Pollan speaks with hospitalized dissident Guillermo Farinas on the phone after Cuba's Roman Catholic Church said that the government has agreed to free 52 political prisoners and allow them to leave the country, in Havana, Wednesday July 7, 2010.  Pollan is the leader of Ladies in White, an organization made up of wives and mothers of political prisoners, and her husband Hector Maseda is one of the 52 people expected to be released. Farinas is on hunger strike to protest the imprisonment of Cuba's political prisoners. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

    Franklin Reyes / AP Photo

    Laura Pollán, the leader of the dissident Ladies in White during Castro’s Cuban dictatorship, died 10 days ago from cardiac and respiratory arrest, according to hospital officials. Given that several deaths of healthy people out of Castro’s favor were often attributed to heart attacks during his reign, people in Cuba are suspicious about Pollán’s alleged cause of death, particularly since she was attacked by a mob on Sept. 24 as she left her home to attend Mass. Her right arm was reportedly scratched and bitten, causing outrage among several Ladies in White who claimed they fell ill after being routinely hunted down and pricked with needles by Castro’s men. Pollán's daughter and husband have said she became violently ill eight days after the attack.

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