Cuba’s Perpetual Black Spring

A statement regarding the Castro dictatorship’s increase in repression and violence against activists on the island from the International Federation of Liberal Youth:

“Temporary Detentions” on the rise in Cuba

Go back to the homepageThe International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) is appalled by news of increasing repression emerging from Cuba in recent days. A report issued by the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation on July 5th indicates that the number of ‘temporary detentions’ – a tactic used by Cuban authorities to intimidate activists in the country – has more than doubled during the period from January to June this year, when taken against the number of such detentions carried out during the same period in 2010.

Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz, the Committee’s founder, also noted that, “the most disquieting… and notable thing in this report is the really unprecedented increase in violence.” Indeed, according to the Committee’s report, the reported number of detentions in which physical violence was employed against activists has increased from 2010 to 2011, with a marked increase occurring in June of this year.

821 ‘temporary detentions’ were carried out in January-June 2010. 1,727 such detentions have taken place in the same period this year.

This egregious affront to human rights follows the recent release of many long-time political prisoners by Cuban authorities. These dissidents and human rights advocates were finally released, signalling what might have been a hopeful development. But the increasing practice of ‘temporary detentions’ and the torture and intimidation of these prisoners are part of what Dr. Sánchez describes as a campaign of “low intensity repression”.

The Cuban authorities must understand that this low intensity repression cannot sustain their regime for any length of time. Respect for the rule of law and free, multi-party elections are essential for the prosperity and vibrancy of Cuba. Releasing the political prisoners was a positive, if small step forward. But this campaign of low intensity repression is taking one big step backward when what Cuba needs now, more than anything, is a big step forward.