New Year without Fidel is Unchanged-Cuban Dissidents Arrested
Cuban dissidents arrested on New Years day. January 1st in Cuba not only marks the New Year but is also the anniversary of the Revolution, when Fidel Castro and his small group of revolutionaries overthrew Fulgencio Batista’s corrupt government. This is the first celebration since Fidel’s death back in November of this year.
We all hoped that Raul Castro, no longer being under his brother’s shadow, would ease off the crackdown on dissidents. That doesn’t appear to be so.
Breitbart reports that the Cuban government began the new year of 2017 by preventing some Cuban dissident leaders from attending rallies and the mass arrests of others.
They quote Cubanet…
The Cuban independent news outlet Cubanet reports that Soler and her husband, former political prisoner and current activist Ángel Moya, were detained for several hours on Sunday to prevent them from attending Mass or organizing any protests against the scheduled events to celebrate Fidel Castro’s life.
Moya had tweeted earlier in the day that police had apparently placed his and Soler’s home under heavy surveillance early in the day to prevent them from leaving. They were arrested for trying to leave their homes, according to fellow dissident Antonio G. Rodiles.After being liberated several hours later, Soler told the Spain-based Diario de Cuba that the Ladies in White group had planned to attend a New Year’s Day “Mass for peace” before being arrested, and that she was not alone in being prevented from leaving her home.
“For the past 13 years the Ladies in White go, or try to go, to the first Mass of the year,” she explained. “In 2016 the Cuban government made sure to reduce or prevent us from being present in church … and this January 1 the same things happened.”
My note: I don’t think this will help our president-elect Donald Trump to ease trade restrictions; he seems to want progress in human rights as a prerequisite for a closer connection. So far, no change as far as I see.