Miami Herald: Cuban dissidents say attacks are evidence of anxiety about the opposition
Cuban human rights activist Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz says the secret police harassed him for the first time in 20 years, and dissident Guillermo Fariñas says they hit him, in what the two men called yet another sign of the government’s growing nervousness over the opposition.
Sánchez has been one of the few critical voices that seemed to be tolerated by the communist government. He has run the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation from his home in Havana without trouble since 1992 even though it has never been recognized by officials.
But he alleged that two State Security agents in plainclothes who approached him on a street Tuesday called out his name, accused him of being a “liar” and a “mercenary for Washington” and threatened that “soon I will receive a forceful reply from the revolution.”
“This was very rare,” he told El Nuevo Herald. “The truth is that I have not been molested” since a 1992 police raid on his commission’s offices. “Monitored yes, but molested, no.”
Sánchez blamed the incident on “the increasing nervousness in the government” over continuing opposition activities despite a harsh crackdown over the past year by the Raúl Castro government.
Sánchez’s commission reported earlier this month that police carried out 5,625 short-term arrests — usually lasting only hours — for political motives in the first 10 months of the year, a monthly average of 562 that compared to 172 in 2010 and 343 in 2011…..Read More
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