PolitiFact: Were there five times the number of political arrests in
Cuba in 2015 as there were in 2010?
PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter rates a claim about political arrests in
Cuba, and whether or not there have been five times as many in 2015 as
there were in 2010.
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 10:57 AM EST
Were there five times as many political arrests in Cuba in 2015 than
there were in 2010?
The recent death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has raised questions
about the future direction of the country, and whether or not the seeds
of democracy will be planted by the influx of American visitors and
In the view of Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), it's a "not-so-fast"
situation, because, as Cruz puts it, Cuba is still a dangerous country,
especially when it comes to people who publicly don't agree with the
government. Cruz made this statement about political prisoners in Cuba:
"In 2015, roughly 10,000 political arrests occurred in Cuba. That is
five times as many as occurred in 2010, when there were only about 2,000."
Our partners at PolitiFact Florida took a look at this claim to see if
it was accurate. PolitiFact reporter Allison Graves says that Cruz's
claim rates MOSTLY TRUE on the Truth-O-Meter. Graves says that Cruz,
for the most part, gets the numbers and the gist of the claim correct.
"Sen. Cruz's numbers are mainly accurate, but he would have been more
accurate to cite numbers from 2016, which show more than 10,000
arrests," said Graves. "The data comes from the Cuban Commission for
Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which is a widely respected
organization based in Havana."
Despite being widely respected, Graves says that there are some caveats
with the data. "One of the issues we had with the data is defining the
length of time the government detains you to type you as a political
prisoner," said Graves. "Cuba has a sort of revolving door system, where
they can hold people for months, days, or even hours, and they could
still be considered political prisoners. It raises the question as to
how many of the arrests led to significant time being held as a
Graves notes, though, that in the broader scheme of things, political
arrests have risen since 2010, and it's not a stretch to make that
claim. PolitiFact rates Cruz's claim MOSTLY TRUE on the Truth-O-Meter.
Source: PolitiFact: Cuban political arrests on the rise? -