Castro Sticks Thumb in Senators' Eyes, Arrests Over 160 Dissidents

Monday, June 29, 2015
While another delegation of U.S. Senators was being charmed by Castro regime officials, over 160 dissidents were being violently arrested by their hosts.

(Update: Independent journalists from Hablemos Press have documented over 226 arrests this weekend.)

The delegation, led by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), along with U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Dean Heller (R-NV), visited Havana and Santiago over the weekend.

In Havana, over 50 members of The Ladies in White, and a dozen accompanying activists, were arrested.

The Ladies in White is a pro-democracy group composed of the wives, sisters, daughters, mothers and other relatives of Cuban political prisoners.

They were taken to a military prison in Tarara.

Meanwhile, in Santiago de Cuba, 103 activists of the dissident group, the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), were arrested.

In another incident, former political prisoner Yojaine Arce Sarmiento's motorbike was rammed by a jeep belonging to a Communist Party official. Arce had been prohibited from riding the motorbike for having painted the word "CAMBIO" ("CHANGE") on it.

In what has become a constant trend since the Obama-Castro deal, the visiting delegation of U.S. Senators did not meet with any Cuban democracy leaders -- for that would upset their hosts.

And a trip to Cuba would be incomplete for Senator Leahy without staying at his favorite establishment, the luxury Hotel Saratoga -- a property that has been twice-confiscated by the Castro regime.

Is this the "positive change" in Cuba that Senator Leahy claims is taking place?

Obama's new policy towards has taken solidarity with Cuba's courageous democrats to a tragic and unprecedented low level.

That's hardly positive. It's shameful.