Life for Cuban human rights and democracy activists in Obama’s apartheid Cuba continues to be difficult and dangerous. This past April there were 475 political arrests of dissidents, many of them violent. In addition, the number of known political prisoners being held in Cuban gulags have doubled from the previous year.
Since Obama’s surrender to the apartheid Castro dictatorship in December of 2014, the Cuban regime has been empowered and emboldened, drastically increasing its repression and violence against dissidents. Obama’s unilateral concessions to the apartheid regime have not only provided them with much needed revenue to fund their machine of repression, it has also provided the dictatorship with political cover to carry out its oppression.
Obama promised Hope and Change in Cuba and so far, the apartheid Castro regime is loving it.
NGO: Cuba Doubled Political Prisoners in One Year
An NGO operating clandestinely in Cuba reported this week that the number of political prisoners held on the island doubled between April 2016 and April 2017, following reports of yet another mass arrest of dissidents at an airport in Havana.
The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), an NGO that tracks politically-motivated arrests on the island, revealed this week that, observing its monthly arrest records, there are currently at least 140 known political prisoners in Cuba, up from about 70 such cases a year earlier. The 140 are individuals “convicted of processed [in a court of law] for political reasons or detained under political conditions.”
In its press release, the CCDHRN notes that the prisoners comprising the 140 arrested do not include “the thousands and thousands of innocent people languishing in the nearly 200 prisons, labor camps, and criminal settlements” on the island.
Elizardo Sánchez, the NGO’s director, told the Spain-based publication Diario de Cuba that the Cuban government has “evolved” in how it targets and persecutes anti-communist dissidents. “Now [the repression] is more extended throughout the country and more selective, less ‘noisy,’” he explained. “the regime has increasingly used preventative repression through police threats and other systematic intimidating action.”
The move appears intended to minimize the need for politically-motivated arrests and, thus, keep the eyes of the international community away from the Cuban communist dictatorship.
Police threats and “preventative repression” include acts such as limiting travel within Cuba, “arbitrary confiscation of materials and means of work or profit,” and espionage on individuals who may be involved in anti-government activities.
In April, CCDHRN says Cuba committed a known 475 politically-motivated arrests, 43 more than the month before, and at least 11 physical attacks on political dissidents.
The number of political prisoners and attacks on dissidents in Cuba increased significantly since 2014, when President Barack Obama announced a series of economic concessions to the Raúl Castro regime in exchange for, as Castro said at the time, “nothing at all.” The move has increased profits for the Castro regime that the government has poured into repressing the Cuban people, with no such profits reaching individual Cuban citizens.
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