Three Swedish women under house arrest in Cuba

Three young Swedish women have been placed under house arrest in Cuba, according to Liberal Youth of Sweden (Liberala Ungdomsföbundet - LUF).

The three members of the youth wing of Sweden’s Liberal Party travelled to Cuba last week in a show of solidarity with the Ladies in White, an opposition movement consisting of the spouses and other relatives of jailed dissidents.

On Sunday the women’s hotel rooms were raided and they had their passports and visas confiscated, according to LUF.

LUF chairwoman Frida Johansson Metso said that her party had been in touch with the parents of the women in question.

“They are in their hotel rooms and seem to be doing fine,” she told The Local.

She expected the women to be escorted to their plane before flying back to Sweden on Tuesday.

Johansson Metso, who has headed LUF since 2006, said that it was not unusual for members of her party to be confined to their hotel rooms by Cuban authorities.

“During my time as chairwoman, it has happened two or three times,” she said.

The three Swedes travelled to Cuba with eight Catalan liberals to pledge their support to the Ladies in White on the UN’s Human Rights Day, December 10th.

“Cuba is a dictatorship and the Liberal Youth of Sweden have long cooperated with many of the democratic forces in Cuba,” said Johansson Metso in a statement.

The Ladies in White practice peaceful resistance by walking through the streets in white clothing after attending mass each Sunday.

Formed in 2003, the movement received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2005.