Repression in Cuba for 2013 starts off with a bang, punch, kick, slam, and crack
The reforms of the Castro dictatorship in Cuba kicked off the first month of 2013 with more than 300 politically motivated arrests and brutal beatings of the island's dissidents.
Repression is off to a fast start in Cuba
Two Cuban human rights monitoring organizations on Monday released reports that detail how despite the near year, political repression on the island is as pervasive as ever.
The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported there were 364 political arrests in January. Although that's the lowest monthly count since November 2011, the commission noted that the closed, totaliatarian nature of the Castro regime means the actual number of arrests is much higher.
That's also why the monthly total tallied by a second human rights group, the Hablemos Press, or CIHPRESS, news agency, differed from the commission's count. CIHPRESS, which this past weekend marked its fourth anniversary, reported there were 302 arrests in January.
That's down from 428 in January 2012, but don't be fooled.
"This has been another month marked by intense government repression," CIHPRESS wrote in its report. "The repressive apparatus has carried out numerous 'acts of repudiation and brutal beatings, primarily against members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba."
Cuban security forces also targeted members of another prominent opposition group, the Christian Liberation Movement, according to CIHPRESS.