HAVANA – The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Thursday said that political repression continues to increase on the island, adding that there were at least 1,414 political arrests in January.
The opposition group, the only one to tally incidents of this kind in Cuba, said in its monthly report on political repression that the number of arrests in January was exceeded only last November, when there were 1,447.
The Commission, headed by Elizardo Sanchez, said that, besides the arrests, in January 56 peaceful opposition figures were the victims of physical attacks, three suffered acts of repudiation, there were 68 incidents of harassment and two of vandalism.
According to the Commission, these acts were orchestrated by State Security and other “repressive bodies and parapolice elements” in Cuba, where the government “has been exercising power in an authoritarian manner for 58 years.”
The government, the organization says, is resorting more frequently to prolonged arrests and temporary incarcerations without trial, and these can last for months, as a “policy designed to wear down the opposition members.”
“The number of prisoners is increasing without cessation and in the enormous prison system subhuman and degrading conditions of internment continue to prevail, at the same time that the government continues refusing to accept the cooperation of the International Red Cross and other international NGOs,” the Commission said.
Cuba’s Communist government dismisses most dissidents as “counterrevolutionaries” and “mercenaries.”