Cuban crackdown

Reporters Without Borders wonders if there is a Burmese connection:

“Even though some of the arrested dissidents were immediately released, this crackdown is in part a reminder of the ‘black spring’ of March 2003,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “While the eyes of the world were turned on the start of the war in Iraq, the Cuban government ordered a round-up of 90 dissidents, 75 of whom are still behind bars, including 20 journalists.”

“Is the regime in Havana this time trying to rival that of Rangoon, where a military clampdown has continued for several days and is holding the attention of the international community?” the organisation speculated.

RSF also reports that among those detained Thursday, are four independent journalists:

Idania Yanes Contreras, a free-lancer.

Yoel Espinosa Medrano and Félix Reyes Gutiérrez, both of Guillermo Fariñas’ Cubanacán Press agency.

Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, correspondent for the websites Payolibre and Nueva Prensa Cubana and Radio Martí.

Guerra, as RSF notes, as been through this before:

Guerra Pérez, 29, was arrested in similar circumstances, on 13 July 2005, just before a dissident demonstration. He was imprisoned for 19 months without trial, regularly beaten by his guards and several times needed treatent in hospital. He was sentenced, on 27 February 2007 to 22 months in prison for “disturbing public order” and released on 9 May this year.

Read more about Guerra here.

Reporteros sin Fronteras, en español, aqui.

(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense)

8 thoughts on “Cuban crackdown”

  1. Henry – That may be true, but also remember that the roundup was a reaction to the dissidents going to Havana for the protest in front of the Justice Ministry and to sign a letter in support of political prisoners. Not to dismiss what you suggest, but indications are this was a reactive move by the dictatorship and perhaps not tied to something grander. We’ll see what happens next.

  2. This can’t be true! It’s a lie! ‘According to the mainstream media Raul Castro is a reformer who is encouraging open debate in Cuban workplaces. The media is even make veiled hints between Raul and Gorbachev! Something must be wrong with this report, we all know that the respectable MSM never, ever lies about Cuba and if they say that Raul is a reformer then he must be one.

  3. Henry,

    I don’t believe it for a minute. FC’s still alive. That said, perhaps this is an acknowledgement that he’s moribund and not coming back – thus, Raulito is taking the opportunity to forge his new legacy and centralize power – granted its already centralized but, you get my drift.

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