Cuba: More than 360 political arrests in the first half of May alone
The so-called reformed dictatorship of the Castro brothers in Cuba continues its record-breaking pace of violent repression. While pro-Castro organizations here in the U.S. are busy launching propaganda campaigns calling on President Obama to lift sanctions against Cuba's apartheid regime, human rights activists and dissidents on the island are being violenty beaten and arrested by the hundreds.
Political arrests continue at a torrid pace in Cuba; more than 360 in first 13 days of May
The Castro dictatorship's secret policemen never take a break. That's clear from the latest released statistics detailing political repression in Cuba.
The Hablemos Press news agency and human rights group reported Tuesday that in the first 13 days of May, it had recorded more than 360 politically motivated arrests on the island.
The roundups included:
- The May 8 arrests of 18 activists in Santa Clara to block them from laying flowers at the grave of Juan Wilfredo Soto, a political prisoner murdered by the regime on May 8, 2011.
- This past weekend, May 10-11, some 90 members of the Damas De Blanco, or "Ladies In White," were arrested in several Cuban cities to block them from attending Mass and other activities to commemorate Mothers Day.
- The May 12 arrests of 31 members of the FANTU-UNPACU opposition coalition, leading member Guillermo Farinas, a past recepient of the European Union's top human rights prize. The activists were arrested to block them from gathering for a meeting at Farinas' home.
- On the next day, May 13, 32 members of the Commission of Assistance to Political Prisoners and Family Members (CAPPF) were arrested to block them from gathering at the group's headquarters in Havana. As of Tuesday evening, the whereabouts of at least seven of those arrested were not know.
Other opposition groups reported similar targeting by Cuban police and security forces, according to the Hablemos Press report.
The repression this month comes in the wake of events in April, an especially brutal month for the Cuban opposition.
Hablemos Press said Tuesday it had recorded 884 political arrests in April, bringing the total for the year to 3,478, or less than 400 fewer than the number of arrests reported in all of 2011.
At this pace, Cuba will end the year with 10,434 political arrests, which would be more than 82 percent of the 5,718 arrests Hablemos Press recorded in 2013.
The numbers differ slightly from those recorded by another human rights group, but the bottom line is the same: Despite the hoopla, despite the propaganda about "change" in Cuba, the repression is as viscious as ever.
For details on each arrest recorded by Hablemos Press in April, read this.