43 dissidents still imprisoned in Cuba from papal visit crackdown

The count of dissidents and human rights activists still imprisoned by the Castro dictatorship during their papal visit crackdown has risen to 43. Apparently emboldened by the lack of concern on part of the Vatican and the pope, the Cuban regime has ratcheted up the repression in an obvious show of force and resolve to demonstrate it will not tolerate and will violently punish any dissent or opposition.

Via Latin American Herald Tribune:

Cuba Holding 43 Dissidents

HAVANA – The opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Wednesday raised from 25 to 43 the number of arrests it has confirmed as part of the government’s “repressive wave” in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

The spokesman for the commission, Elizardo Sanchez, told Efe on Wednesday that the group confirmed the arrests of 33 men and 10 women who remained in custody as of midday on Wednesday.

The commission on Tuesday denounced in a communique the fact that the political police and “other repressive forces of the regime” arrested peaceful opposition members, sometimes with “violence,” in the municipalities of Palma Soriano, Palmarito de Cauto and Santiago de Cuba.

Among those in custody are former “Group of 75” political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer and his wife Belkis Cantillo, leader of the Santiago chapter of the Ladies in White group, the note from Sanchez said.

As a member of the Group of 75, Ferrer was freed on parole in March 2011 and was among the 12 members of the group who refused to accept exile in Spain as a condition for getting out of prison.