Elizardo Sanchez

Cuban group says political detentions rose dramatically in 2012

by Reuters  |  published on January 6, 2013

Political detentions rose dramatically in Cuba in 2012 and will likely increase again in 2013 because of a lack of “real reforms” on the communist island, a Cuban human rights group said on Thursday.

The independent Cuban Commission of Human Rights said in its annual report there were 6,602 detentions of government opponents last year, compared to 4,123 in 2011 and 2,074 in 2010.

Elizardo Sanchez, head of the group, said the rise reflected growing discontent among Cubans and the government’s attempts to keep a lid on dissent.

“Dissatisfaction is increasing because of the general poverty and the lack of hope,” he told Reuters.

Cuban leaders counter that their opponents are largely the creation of the United States and others who provide money and other aid to help foment dissent against the government.

Havana also questions the validity of the commission’s numbers, which cannot be independently verified.

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