Green-Light for Repression: Over 200 Cuban Dissidents Arrested on Sunday

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Last week, while encouraging U.S. businessmen to cut deals with the Castro dictatorship, Amb. David Thorne, senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry, stated in an interview from Havana:

"Let's find out how we can work together and not always say that human rights are the first things that we have to fix before anything else."

The Castro regime took this dangerous message as a (further) green-light for repression.

Over 200 Cuban dissidents were arrested on Sunday as they sought to peacefully demonstrate, pursuant to the #TodosMarchamos (#WeAllMarch) campaign.

Of those arrested, over 125 were from the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) in the eastern provinces. (See a list of those arrested here.)

In two particularly egregious cases, Castro's secret police ordered local party officials to hurl stones at a group 30 dissidents in Palma Soriano, prior to their arrest. Among those seriously injured was Jorge Cervantes Garcia.

And, in Camaguey, a group of dissidents were arrested, handcuffed and locked in police cars for several hours to suffer in the hot sun. They included Fernando Vazquez Guerra, Dorico Sanchez Aguilar, Davilexis Sanchez Aguilar, Leopoldo Lopez Betancourt, Ediyersi Santana Jous and Raul Padron Suarez

Meanwhile, in Havana, over 75 members of The Ladies in White -- the renowned group composed of the wives, daughters, mothers and other relatives of Cuban political prisoners -- were arrested.

In other notable cases last week:

-- Cuban dissidents Geovanys Izaguirre and Laudelino Rodriguez were handed six-month prison sentences for demonstrating with anti-Castro signs.

-- Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila was arrested for wearing an anti-Castro t-shirt, while he was being interviewed by two French reporters.

-- Four Cuban independent journalists (with Hablemos Press) were arrested within a 48-hour time period for their reporting. They are Oscar Sanchez Madan, Ricardo Sanchez Tamayo, Pablo Morales Marchan and Raul Ramirez Puig.

-- Famed Cuban novelist, dissident and political prisoner, Angel Santiesteban, was re-arrested.

-- A police vehicle rammed a scooter carrying Cuban democracy leader, Damaris Moya, and her husband, Yandi Peraza, injuring both of them. This is how Cuban democracy leader, Oswaldo Paya, was murdered in 2012.

It's "what change looks like" -- not to mention Thorne's irresponsibility -- in Obama's Cuba.