Raul's New Wave of Repression

Sunday, January 6, 2013
Journalist Tracey Eaton has written a good article for USA Today about the human rights situation in Cuba.

It's entitled, "Cuban rights abuses, jailings up in new repressive wave."

It contains some great insight from some of Cuba's pro-democracy leaders.

Here are some excerpts:

Héctor Maseda, who served several years in prison for his political views, says authorities are switching to short-term arrests to give the impression of tolerance.

"The government is trying to confuse public opinion. It is trying to show that repression has lessened," said Maseda, 69, a former nuclear engineer. "But that is not happening. Repression is increasing." [...]

José Daniel Ferrer, 42, who served eight years in prison after his arrest in the "Black Spring of 2003" along with 74 other democratic activists, says repression is as bad as ever.

Security agents "have no rules, no limits when it comes to trying to stop, paralyze or terrorize a dissident," said Ferrer, a fisherman and member of the Christian Liberation Movement imprisoned for collecting signatures on a petition demanding freedom of speech, assembly and political participation [...]

Police keep Las Damas (The Ladies in White) under tight surveillance and often stop the women before they reach the church. 

Omaglis González, 41, tried to avoid arrest one day, hiking around a highway checkpoint, but police caught her. González said an officer twisted her arm, dislocating her wrist, while forcing her into a car. Despite such episodes, she is optimistic. 

"Freedom will come one day," she said. "We can't lose hope." 

Read the whole thing here.