Google “Cuba”, “news” and you will get nothing but page after page of reports on yesterday’s offensive swimming stunt. It’s a veritable volcanic eruption, this stunt, and the ash smothering the journalistic landscape is now fifty feet deep. On page eight, however, this tiny little item can be found sticking out of the volcanic ash like some mutant gem, blinking away, calling attention to itself.
Cuba political arrests spiked in August
At least 547 political arrests were reported in Cuba last month, in a spike after a steep drop in the first half of the year, an opposition group said Tuesday.
Another 337 dissidents were subjected to harassment and police threats, the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission (CCDHRN) said in a statement.
In July, the group — banned but tolerated by authorities — reported a 41 percent drop in arbitrary arrests during the first half of the year as compared to the same period a year earlier.
There were 2,143 in total during the 2013 timeframe, it said.
It attributed the decline to the government wanting to “clean up its image.”
The group said it was deeply concerned by an increase in violence, physical as well as verbal, against the “Ladies in White” — whose members are wives and relatives of jailed dissidents — and other peaceful government opponents.
“This shows that the Cuban government is not intent on improving, in the near future, the terrible civil and political rights situation that prevails on the island,” the group said.