604 more victims of Raul Castro’s ‘reforms’

The “reforms” of Cuban dictator Raul Castro continue to rack up victims. According to the latest figures, there were 604 politically motivated arrests on the island in the month of February alone.

Juan Tamayo in McClatchy Newspapers:

Human rights activists in Cuba say political arrests are up

– At least 604 Cubans were subjected to “arbitrary arrests for political motives” in February, the third month in a row that short-term detentions hit nearly twice the average for all of last year, according to a report Monday.

The report also noted an increase in the detentions of members of Ladies in White, a group of female relatives of political prisoners, and the arrests of six Protestant pastors accused of trying to preach in public places.

The increase since December in such of detentions was the result of the growing criticism of the Raul Castro government’s policies, said Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

“There’s a visible increase in the political repression, as the government’s reply to the increase in the complaints against the government,” Sanchez Santa Cruz said of his commission’s report for February, issued Monday. “The government’s only reply to anything is repression.”

Such arrests, usually for a few hours or days and intended to harass activists or keep them from taking part in dissident activities, have been climbing steadily since Castro succeeded his ailing brother Fidel in 2006.

They averaged 147 a month in 2010 and more than doubled in 2011, to an average of 343 a month, according to the commission’s report. They spiked even higher at the end of last year, with 796 reported in December.

The report noted but did not quantify an increase in the repression against the Ladies in White, “who were the target of numerous acts of violence and scurrilous attacks, including some cases in which they were forced to take off their clothes or were groped by police agents.”

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1 thought on “604 more victims of Raul Castro’s ‘reforms’”

  1. Pope’s coming to town.

    Gotta clean up the streets.

    Nothing to see here.

    Move along…

    Or go to jail.

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