On their Monthly Report on Human Rights Violations in Cuba, the independent dissident news agency Hablamos Press is reporting that just in the month of May there have been at least 274 arrests motivated by political reasons in Cuba. According to the list, which only captures the violence of this year, the repression increases more and more as the months pass, with the exception of February in which there were 440 arrests (due to the large scale protests in honor of the anniversary of the fallen hunger striking martyr Orlando Zapata Tamayo). For now, here is their excellent and well detailed report (in spanish).
Although the majority of these arrests lasted (in some cases) hours, days, or weeks, the most recent example of a case where the arrest culminated in actual prison sentences is that of four young men who were sentenced to various years behind the bars after handing out leaflets with pro-human rights information in Havana during the beginning of this year. They were sentenced under the pretexts of “public disorder” , and these prisoners are:
Luis Enrique Labrador
33 años de edad; 5 años de condena
40 años de edad; 5 años de condena
42 años de edad; 5 años de condena
23 años de edad; 3 años de condena
In response to these absurd and unjust sentences, relatives of these new prisoners protested outside the Havana tribunal:
Also, two brothers were sentenced under the cynic pretexts of “public disorder” and “insults to national symbols”. Their crime? They participated in public peaceful protests against the Cuban government and they were publicly listening to the music of the hip-hop duo, Los Aldeanos, whose lyrics tend to criticize the political direction of the island. These brothers are:
Marcos Maikel Lima Cruz
33 años de edad; 3 años de condena
Antonio Michel Lima Cruz
28 años de edad; 2 años de condena
These are the 6 new Cuban prisoners of conscience.
As we know, the Cuban government releases some and quickly fills those empty cells with others. They have done the same exact thing since 1959.
Meanwhile, many other dignified Cubans, whether they be classified as prisoners of conscience or not, languish behind the bars of the Cuban dungeons just for defending the freedom and rights of all Cubans, cases like that of Andy Frometa Cuenca who has maintained a lengthy hunger strike.