While many in the mainstream media push the narrative that Cuba’s communist government is somehow more “open” than in the past, the Cuban government is exploiting that good will to violently detain and torture political dissidents. According to one NGO, 963 dissidents were arbitrarily arrested in June.
The Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, an NGO dedicated to reporting on the torture and oppression of anti-communist thought in Cuba, revealed in its monthly report that 963 individuals were arrested for political reasons in June. While this number is smaller than record-setting May, when 1,120 Cuban citizens are arrested for political reasons, the alarming rate of detention indicates that the Cuban government has no interest in a more-liberated society.
Several individual cases of arrests stand out. Serial hunger striker and Sakharov Prize winner Guillermo Fariñas was arrested, according to the group, “almost every Monday of June … to impede scheduled meetings of his organization.” Fariñas has attempted to schedule meetings with dissidents to organize a movement against the government and has used Twitter to chronicle the beatings that he has received as the government attempts to break up those weekly meetings. On this past Monday–the last in June–Fariñas tweeted a photo of what appear to be stab wounds on his arms, from Cuban police:
Fui agredido hoy durante acto de repudio cuando ibamos a celebrar reunión ordinaria de FANTU Hay 5 activistas presos pic.twitter.com/0YOFW6AFJf
— Coco Farinas (@cocofarinas) June 30, 2014
Two other famous dissidents, Jorge Luís García Pérez (known as Antúnez) and his wife, Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, were arrested this month yet again, only to be confined later to house arrest for counterrevolutionary activities. Like many, Antúnez was arrested specifically on the charge of “public disorder,” a catch-all for anyone daring to criticize the government in public.
In addition to those arrested in June, the international community has added to its list of Cuban political prisoners David Bustamante, an LGBT rights activist arrested in May for public disorder after taking to a rooftop and calling for an end to LGBT discrimination by the Castro regime, which has a long history of attempting to “eradicate” such behavior through mass murder and oppression. To suppress the reality of LGBT individuals in Cuba, the Castro regime has routinely paraded out Mariela Castro, daughter of dictator Raúl, who claims to be an LGBT advocate despite being an inextricable part of the regime.
Below is a video of Bustamante’s crime: inciting a crowd to chant against the Castro regime:
The government of Cuba is not only a serial abuser of human rights, but a mainstay on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism, due to its support of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a Marxist terror cell known for its kidnappings, drug links, and harrowing violence.