Not withstanding the elation and glee found in news reports describing the magnanimous reforms of the vile Castro dictatorship, the truth about the repression that chokes the people of Cuba remains quite real and palpable. While the pundits, journalists, “Cuba Experts” (or as they refer to them now, “Cuba Analysts), and apologists for the Castro dictatorship laud the new economic and migratory policies of the Cuban regime, the imprisonment and brutality against dissidents and human rights activists on the island continues unabated and is increasing.
Cuban human rights group: Number of political prisoners has doubledIts rise in political prisoners ‘reaffirms’ Cuba as the leader in the Western Hemisphere for the number of people sent to prison for their beliefs.
The number of prisoners held on political charges in Cuba doubled to 90 in the past 10 months despite the government’s preference for short-term detentions to control dissent, a Havana human rights group reported Tuesday.
About 30 of the new prisoners are leaders and members of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), a dissident group that has achieved a surprisingly active presence in the eastern part of the island since it was founded in mid-2011.
The number of jailings is evidence that police “are ready to repress with the utmost force in order to paralyze the visible advances of UNPACU,” founder José Daniel Ferrér Gárcia said by phone from his home in the eastern town of Palmarito de Cauto.
Ferrer was one of the 120-plus political prisoners freed in 2010 and 2011 as part of an agreement between Cuba ruler Raúl Castro and Cardinal Jaime Ortega. He had been in prison since a 2003 crackdown on 75 dissidents known as Cuba’s “Black Spring.”
The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation noted in its report that the number of Cubans convicted or awaiting trials on political crimes had risen from 45 in March of last year to 90 as of last week.
Commission leader Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz wrote in the report that the jump “reaffirms the Cuban government in first place in the Western Hemisphere, and in most of the world, for the number of people sentenced to prison for political reasons.”
Human rights group releases names of 106 Cuban political prisoners
Don’t believe the hype, don’t believe the lies: Despite highly publicized releases of dozens of prisoners in 2010 and 2011 and other so-called “reforms,” there remain dozens of prisoners in Cuban jails whose only crime is their political opposition to the Castro dictatorship. Each one witness to the repression that goes to the essence of the regime.
The very unofficial Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Tuesday released their names — 106 in all, plus 17 more on parole under “extra-penal licenses.”
(Not on the list are the thousands of other anti-Castro activists arrested and subjected to shorter-term detentions designed to neutralize the opposition out of the glare of the scrutiny that might come if the regime resorted to lengthy prison sentences.)
The human rights commission said its list only includes those prisoners it was able to confirm with family members and others as being held because of their politics. Other names were omitted because of a lack of sufficient verification.
Learn the 106 names and the details about their respective cases, here.