The Cuban regime strikes back
The Regime Strikes Back: International Human Rights Day in Cuba
Despite massive orchestrated regime repression combined with a propaganda offensive the opposition was able to celebrate international human rights day in Cuba with courageous defiance.
On International Human Rights Day the Castro regime engaged in a triple attack. First it shut down cell phones and home telephones of activists and independent journalists so that it was difficult if not impossible for them to communicate. (This tactic was first documented and used successfully on a national scale by the dictatorship during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba in March of 2012.) By 12 noon today activists such as Orlando Luis Pardo were tweeting that "cell phones of the majority of activists and Cuban civil society leaders including the Ladies in White were blocked."
Secondly the dictatorship organized rapid response brigades led by state security to lay siege to the homes of activists and when the activists took to the streets in nonviolent protest these government agents violently ended the demonstrations and detained the activists. At 9:24am today Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez tweeted that "independent journalist Carlos Rio Otero was impeded from leaving his home by police patrol."This repression started in the early morning and has continued throughout the day and into the night. Tonight at 9:53pm former prisoner of conscience Angel Moya tweeted that "the home of activist Eduardo Pacheco was under siege in Cardenas Matanzas" and that "repressive forces were wielding knives and shouting no one will go out."As was done yesterday, a large number of activists were arbitrarily detained to prevent them from participating in activities on International Human Rights Day. Bertha Soler, the spokesperson of the Ladies in White was beaten up and arrested yesterday then released only to suffer the same indignity again today.
Thirdly, over the internet the Cuban government and its sympathizers recycled propaganda on the non-achievements of the revolution and attacked the U.S. Embargo while claiming that news of human rights violations in Cuba were lies manufactured by counter-revolutionary elements and the Yankees. A number of the claims made about U.S. sanctions were factually inaccurate.
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