Cuba Detains Protesters Outside Prison

Friday, January 2, 2015
Good coverage of yesterday's re-arrests by Reuters:

Cuban police detain protesters outside prison, dissidents say

Cuban police detained up to a dozen dissidents who had gone to a Havana prison to demand that fellow opponents of the government be released, dissidents said on Thursday.

The detentions follow a series of others since Tuesday in a crackdown against activists who have attempted to test the communist government's tolerance for free speech and assembly in the wake of Cuba's thaw in relations with the United States.

Cuban officials do not comment on police activity such as the detention of dissidents, and the Cuban government dismisses the opponents as paid advocates of the U.S. government. The dissidents have limited public support inside Cuba.

About a dozen protesters gathered outside the Vivac prison on the outskirts of Havana, a Reuters photographer witnessed. They were demanding the release of an estimated 10 dissidents who have been detained since Tuesday, although the whereabouts of those detainees was unknown.

The detentions at the prison started about 15 minutes after Reuters had left the scene.

"It looks like they are going to start arresting people. Now they are arresting people now," dissident Antonio Rodiles told Reuters before his phone cut off.

Performance artist Tania Bruguera was among those taken away, Rodiles said. Her phone stopped accepting calls as well.