“If not now, when? If not us, who?”

Maybe because Monday is International Human Rights Day, and they want to silence their critics.

Or maybe because they know their end is near, and they’re scared to death.

Or maybe because they are just a bunch of bastards, and they love to do what they do best.

For whatever reason, the Cuban dictatorship in recent days apparently launched a new wave of arrests of dissidents and other government opponents.

Most of the arrests have been in Havana, but Cuban Democratic Directorate is reporting that thugs from State Security attacked and detained a group of about 20 people, including women and children, as they left a church in Santa Clara, where they had been fasting and praying for the release of dissidents arrested earlier.

Independent journalist Tania Maceda Guerra — who herself was briefly detained last week — in reports here and here, lists names of those who have been detained. Most were released within a few hours, but there are five dissidents still in jail. They are:

Juan Bermúdez Toranzo

Manuel Pérez Soria

Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina

Eliécer Consuegra Rivas

Gerardo Sánchez Ortega

Rodríguez, Consuegra and Sánchez were arrested last week, after they unveiled a petition campaign requesting autonomy for Cuban universities. Cuban Democratic Directorate, in another news release, reports that Consuegra and Sánchez have been transferred from a Havana jail to their homes in eastern Cuba, and that they have been advised they may be charged with being a “social danger.”

“We were prepared for this. … We knew that at any time, this could happen,” Consuegra said. “We will continue our struggle, for as I have always said, if not now, when? If not us, who?

(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense.)

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