Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support to pay for more powerful servers. Thank you.
Archives
Recent Comments

    Cuba detains fewer dissidents following detente with U.S.

    Cuba detains fewer dissidents following detente with U.S.
    BY DANIEL TROTTA
    HAVANA Mon Feb 2, 2015 2:51pm EST

    (Reuters) – Cuban police detained 178 opposition activists in January,
    the lowest monthly total in more than four years as Cuba entered talks
    with the United States to restore diplomatic relations, a dissident
    human rights organization said on Monday.

    The political detentions lasted from two hours to 12 days and were
    typical of how Cuba represses opponents to its one-party system, the
    Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation said in its
    monthly report.

    It was the lowest monthly number since September 2010, according to the
    commission’s records, and compares with a monthly average of 741 last
    year and 536 in 2013.

    Cuba dismisses the dissidents as a tiny minority of provocateurs who are
    motivated by U.S. payments funneled through non-governmental
    organizations. The government does not comment on police activity.

    “The decrease in the number of short-term detentions compared to the
    previous 48 months was glaring, but we should continue demanding that
    the Cuban government end political repression,” the commission said in
    the report.

    Commission leader Elizardo Sanchez was traveling and unavailable for
    comment.

    Most of the detentions in January were a response to the activism of
    recognized dissidents, some of whom were harassed on their way to
    attending church, the commission said. Three were held for handing out
    political pamphlets, the commission said.

    The commission’s data cannot be independently verified, and the numbers
    include people who are detained more than once.

    The commission said Cuba detained 8,899 people in 2014, the highest
    annual number since it began publishing records in 2010, but detentions
    dropped off in the second half of the year as Cuba and the United States
    drew closer to their Dec. 17 announcement.

    On that date U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro
    said they would restore diplomatic ties and seek to normalize trade and
    travel after more than five decades of hostilities.

    The deal, reached after 18 months of secret talks, included a prisoner
    swap in which the United States freed three Cuban spies and Cuba
    released U.S. citizen Alan Gross and a Cuban who had spied for the
    Americans. Cuba also agreed to release 53 people who the United States
    considered political prisoners.

    Cuba released 16 of those 53 prisoners throughout the course of 2014 and
    the other 37 on Jan. 7-8 of this year, the commission said.

    (Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Christian Plumb)

    Source: Cuba detains fewer dissidents following detente with U.S. |
    Reuters –
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/02/us-cuba-dissidents-idUSKBN0L61Z520150202