Reports from Cuba: More than 60% of Cubans arbitrarily detained in 2022 were women

14yMedio reports from Havana via Translating Cuba:

More than 60 Percent of Cubans Arbitrarily Detained in 2022 Were Women

The leader of the opposition women’s movement Damas de Blanco, Berta Soler, has been imprisoned on several occasions by the Cuban regime.

In 2022, Cuba reached the highest rate of women arbitrarily detained in the last four years. The figure is documented by the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) in its latest report, published this Thursday, in which they attest to more than 5,500 repressive actions by the regime as of the end of the year.

Last year, the repression of the Díaz-Canel government was consolidated and even went further, adds the OCDH in its report, against sectors of the population traditionally not linked to politics.  Imprisonment and exile continue to be a predominant pattern practiced by the regime against dissident voices, while police summonses, threats, and detentions in homes continue.

The organization has recorded that, throughout 2022, Cuban authorities carried out 1,354 arbitrary arrests, of which 832 correspond to women and represent 61.4%, the highest figure since 2018.

There were 1,447 documented detentions of activists, opponents, or relatives of prisoners in their homes, and  harassment against the independent press continued as well, with at least 697 repressive actions against journalists who suffered threats, surveillance, subpoenas and restrictions on mobile data and telephony.

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Cuba should remain on the State Sponsors of Terror list

No amount of “dialogue” between the Biden administration and Cuba’s communist regime will change the fact that the Castro dictatorship has been in the past, and today continues to be, a State Sponsor of Terror.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, Marcel Felipe, and Orlando Gutierrez Boronat make the indisputable case in The Washington Times:

Cuba must remain designated state sponsor of terrorism

Sending U.S. delegations to Havana is dangerous

In the last few days, the U.S. sent a delegation of officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security to engage in a “law enforcement dialogue” with members of Cuba’s military dictatorship.

While the State Department says the dialogues are a way to “enhance the national security of the United States through improved international law enforcement coordination … and bring transnational criminals to justice,” those of us in Miami’s Cuban exile community who participate in the island’s pro-democracy movement are concerned these dialogues could set the stage to remove Cuba’s rightful designation as a state sponsor of terrorism (SSOT).

When The Washington Times inquired as to whether the dialogues would include discussion about removing Cuba’s SSOT designation, the State Department opaquely responded that “the dialogue does not impact the administration’s continued focus on critical human rights issues in Cuba.”

Another journalist received a similar, contradictory answer at a Jan. 13 news conference when he asked, “How do you justify having this kind of meeting on specifically law enforcement issues while at the same time keeping the country on the terrorism list?”

While the State Department insists the U.S. can walk these diverging paths and arrive at the same destination, many of us in the opposition do not believe this is possible, which is why we are concerned the U.S. may make the mistake of removing the regime from the SSOT list.

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Castro dictatorship’s religious persecution targeting Cuban Muslims

Cuban Christians aren’t the only ones suffering religious persecution in communist Cuba. Muslims who do not worship the State above all other gods are targeted as well.

From an Op-Ed by religious freedom activist and Cuban American Teo Babun via AOL.com:

Christians are not the only group targeted by the regime, however. Less known — but no less harsh — is the repression endured by Cuba’s independent Muslims, of whom there are an estimated 3,000 to 4,000.

According to one faith leader quoted in a report released last year by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, “Cuban Muslims are particularly repressed, restricted and delegitimized. Repression of Muslims has intensified in the last three years.”

Muslims are not allowed to pray in public, and women in the workplace and schools are bullied for wearing hijabs. They have lost jobs and positions in universities because of these “infractions,” and they are not allowed to bury their dead according to their custom. There are only two small mosques allowed in Cuba; in 2017, state security in Holguín forcibly closed a third household mosque, beating and jailing the imam, Abdullatif Abu Maryam.

To sideline and suppress independent Muslims, the Cuban regime in 2007 created the Islamic League, which is linked to the state-controlled Cuban Council of Churches. Among other functions, the League co-opts Muslim activities to conceal the real repression to which Muslims are subjected and to allow the regime to claim that Muslims can practice their faith freely.

Meanwhile, the Cuban Association for the Dissemination of Islam, which is not directed by the regime, is deemed illegal and not allowed to receive aid for community service projects. Its president, Abu Dunayah, was recently prevented from traveling to Mecca.

This is socialism in action.

69 Cuban refugees died at sea in 2022 while trying to escape communism

The misery of living in communist Cuba is so tortuous, many Cubans prefer to throw themselves into the sea to escape. Keep in mind this is only the documented number, there are likely many more deaths.

Via Martí Noticias (my translation):

69 documented deaths of Cuban migrants in the Caribbean in 2022

At 69 deaths or disappearances, the number of Cubans who died in the Caribbean during 2022 were the highest after Haitians, according to a report by the Missing Migrants Project of the International Organization of Migration (OIM).

The organization documented a total of 321 migrant deaths in the waters of the Caribbean, the highest number recorded since the project began in 2014. It is a drastic increase in comparison to 2021 when 180 deaths and disappearances were documented.

According to the report, 163 migrants who died in 2022 could not be identified.

“More than 51% of the people who lost their lives traversing the migrant routes in the Caribbean last year could not be identified,” said Patrice Quesada, the Regional Director for OIM in the Caribbean. “This means that hundreds of families have no information regarding the whereabouts of their loved ones.”

Of the total number of deaths, 66 were women, 64 were men, and 28 were children, the report cites.

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.

Reports from Cuba: Cuban authorities pressure private businesses in Sancti Spiritus to lower prices

Mercedes Garcia reports in 14yMedio from Sancti Spiritus via Translating Cuba:

Cuban Authorities Pressure Private Business Owners in Sancti Spiritus to Lower Their Prices

“Prices are through the roof and they have increased a lot since the beginning of the year,” said one customer.

Food prices continue to increase and authorities in the city of Sancti Spíritus try to put the brakes on inflation by pressuring private business owners to lower their prices. The official call, however, has not been echoed in the sector hit hard by the high cost of raw materials and taxes.

Susana and her husband sell crackers and on Thursday were in a meeting called by the local authorities. “They told us we had to lower our prices because it is a directive of the Communist Party,” they told 14ymedio. “But we can’t, until recently we were buying wheat flour from a mipyme [a micro or small business] that sold it for 135 pesos but now we must pay more.”

“We’re between a rock and a hard place, because if we lower the price we practically won’t have any income. Everything we earn we would need to invest in purchasing ingredients for the crackers, that is, we’d work for nothing,” she says. “Between the raw materials and taxes there is no margin for a discount.”

“It is not only about the products we must pay high prices for to maintain afloat, but also that this work requires a lot of sacrifice: waking up very early to knead, shape and bake the crackers,” she stated. “Then, the time we must devote to sales, hours and hours on our feet and in contact with customers, who many times are bothered by the prices.”

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Miami Cuban radio icon Ninoska Perez Castellon back on the air at a new station

After leaving Radio Mambí when it was taken over by a Soros-backed leftist group trying to silence conservative radio in Miami, Ninoska Perez Castellon is back on the South Florida airwaves. Ninoska has a new show now on WWFE La Nueva Poderosa,, 670 AM.

Via Riadio Ink:

Broadcaster and activist Ninoska Pérez Castellón is returning to radio in South Florida with a new program on Salem Media’s WWFE (670 AM, La Nueva Poderosa) in Miami.

Castellón’s new show comes after a brief hiatus from radio; she previously worked for more than two decades at WAQI (710 AM) until it changed ownership.

Castellón has worked as an activist seeking freedom and rights in Cuba. She was born in Cuba, then moved to Miami, where she grew up and developed her passion for writing and speaking, Salem Media said in a press release.

“We are extremely happy and honored to have Ninoska Pérez Castellón join Salem Media Miami,” Monica Rabassa, the vice president and general manager at Salem Media Miami, said on Tuesday. “Ninoska’s unrelenting voice in support of freedom and just causes now has a new home at La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.”

“I am thankful that Salem Media, a powerhouse in conservative thought, has stepped up and given Hispanic conservative voices a home at a time when we have been under attack for the sole purpose of silencing us,” Castellón said. “I am extremely happy to be back on the airwaves connecting with the audience I love.”

Ninoska was one of the last radio personalities to leave Radio Mambí after Univision sold the station to the Latino Media Network, a new media company founded by leftist activists and funded in part by far-left billionaire George Soros. With Hispanics fleeing the Democrat Party in droves, the company bought up several Spanish-language stations in an effort to silence conservative Hispanic voices.

Brazil’s Lula goes to bat for Cuba and Venezuela on his first trip abroad

It’s no surprise that on his first trip abroad as president of Brazil, socialist Lula da Silva went out of his way to express his affection and support for the murderous dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela. Le ronca el mango.

Frances Martel reports in Breitbart:

Brazil’s Lula Uses First Trip Abroad as President to Offer Cuba and Venezuela ‘Great Affection’

Radical leftist Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva encouraged his Latin American counterparts to treat the violent, terrorist-linked dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela with “great affection” on Monday.

Lula made the remarks in a press conference in Buenos Aires alongside Argentine President Alberto Fernández. Fernández, a fellow hardline socialist who has paid an honorary visit to the corpse of mass murderer Mao Zedong, is currently hosting the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a regional coalition. Lula’s predecessor Jair Bolsonaro had abandoned the bloc in 2020 on the grounds that it was too sympathetic to communist dictatorships and tolerant of human rights abuses.

Lula won a third term as president last year despite being convicted on multiple appeals of taking bribes the last time he was in office; his visit to Argentina is his first trip abroad since his inauguration on January 1.

Lula’s attendance at the CELAC is a signal of Brazil’s return to the far-left coalition it led in the region during Lula’s first two terms a decade ago. He is expected to meet with Cuba’s figurehead president Miguel Díaz-Canel on Tuesday and had scheduled a meeting with socialist Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, but the latter abruptly canceled his visit to Buenos Aires, citing unspecified scheming by the “neo-fascist right.”

Maduro’s country – one of the world’s most impoverished after over two decades of socialist dictatorship – and his patron state of Cuba were the topic of detailed remarks from Lula during his press conference with Fernández. Lula enthusiastically objected to human rights sanctions on both countries and urged fellow CELAC member states to express “affection” to the repressive regimes.

Continue reading HERE.

Photo & Video of the Day: Cuban exiles protest outside London court where Castro regime is on trial

Cuban exiles and human rights activists gathered outside the London courtroom where the communist Castro dictatorship is being sued for defaulting on $78 million in loans.