Niurkis Rivera Despaigne said she had to act when she saw that members of Las Damas de Blanco were suffering reprisals for their peaceful protests. So joined Las Damas de Apoyo in July 2009. She said:
I think it’s every woman’s fight. It’s a fight for everyone.
Among her goals: To help achieve equality and freedom of expression in Cuba. She said:
The biggest challenge is change. Change must come.
See more of interview in 6-minute video on the Cuba Money Project’s Vimeo channel.
Rivera said state-run Cuban television does not tell the truth when it portrays dissidents as being a foreign-paid force, manufactured abroad. And she said she doesn’t know what happens to the millions of dollars the United States government spends toward democracy programs.
Where is it? That money that’s spent, where is it? Because we opposition members here get around on foot. Where’s that money? Who’s getting it? If someone’s getting it, they’re putting it in their pocket.
The life of a dissident is difficult in Cuba, she said. But she is determined not to give up no matter what government supporters do.
They know I’m going to continue, even if they kill me.