2016 ends in Cuba with nearly 10,000 political arrests by U.S.-backed apartheid dictatorship

Cuban security personnel arrest Berta Soler
Cuban State Security arrests Lady in White, Berta Soler

Cubans on the island paid a heavy price in 2016 for Obama’s “Hope and Change” Cuba policy, even heavier than the one they paid in 2015. After all the unilateral concessions by the U.S. to the apartheid dictatorship over the past two years, the Castro dictatorship ended 2016 with 9,940 political arrests of peaceful dissidents and human rights activists, most of them violent. This is the highest number of political arrests documented by the independent Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) sine they began documenting political arrests in Cuba in 2010. In fact, the 2016 figure represents and an almost five-fold increase over the 2,074 arrests recorded in 2010.

Since president Obama’s decision to offer the apartheid Castro dictatorship full U.S. backing, the regime has used that support and the legitimacy it provides to increase violent repression and clamp down further on dissent. This is what Obama’s “Hope and Change” policy has done for Cuba. ¡Gracias, Obama!

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

CCDHRN: Regime carried out nearly 10,000 ‘arbitrary arrests’ during 2016

During the month of December 2016, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) documented at least 458 arbitrary arrests of peaceful dissidents on the island. This figure shows an increase of 100 arrests over the previous month.

The report on repression issued monthly by the CCDHRN indicated that in 2016, there were a total of 9,940 arbitrary arrests documented (nearly 10,0000), “a number that places the government of Cuba in first place in all of Latin America” in terms of political arrests.

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.

And in one of those rare instances where journalists actually do their jobs, an international news agency has actually decided to report on the increase in repression instead of doing what they normally do; ignore it.

Via Deutche Welle:

Cuba arbitrary arrests soared in 2016, dissidents say

In a report published on Thursday, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) found that “a total of a total of 9,940 arbitrary detentions” were documented in 2016 – marking the highest figure since 2010.

In June, some 82 dissidents were in jail, the group said. There was no indication, however, of how many dissidents are currently in prison.

Surge after Castro death

The group found a particular increase in arrests following the death of long-time revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in late November. A surge was also noted ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit in March, when dissidents were placed under house arrest.

The opposition group “Ladies in White” (Damas de Blanco) and the largest opposition division Unpacu were particularly affected by the measures.

Like all opposition groups in Cuba, the CCDHRN – led by dissident activist Elizardo Sanchez – is illegal, but is currently tolerated in practice by Cuba’s governement.

Legal detentions

Human rights organizations have already criticized the fact that an ever-increasing number of regime critics are being arrested for short periods of time – amounting to anything from a few hours to a few days – in order to prevent them attending demonstrations or assemblies.

Havana is legally permitted to carry out the detentions under a law allowing preventative arrests. However the government in the one-party state denies holding any political prisoners.

Prior to his death on November 25, Castro was hailed by supporters across the world as a hero who stood up to the poor. But for many, the 90-year-old was regarded as a dictator who tolerated no dissent.

In 2006, after nearly 50 years in power, he transferred power to his younger brother, Raul Castro, who became full president in 2008.

Continue reading HERE.

1 thought on “2016 ends in Cuba with nearly 10,000 political arrests by U.S.-backed apartheid dictatorship”

  1. It doesn’t really matter how high the number of political arrests goes up. It’s considered a largely harmless and even amusing cat-and-mouse game. It doesn’t even matter that black women are being routinely abused. Nothing matters because it’s not about freedom, justice or civil rights–it’s about ideology and politics, and Cuba’s dissidents are on the wrong side of that equation. Remember, Saint Mandela was a big supporter of Castro, Inc., and that kind of hypocrisy is still very much with us–just like cockroaches.

Comments are closed.