Monday, August 30, 2010

Cuba arrests eight more dissidents

Cuba arrests eight more dissidents
August 30, 2010 - 8:59AM

Cuban dissidents have accused the government of rounding up more
political prisoners -- even as Havana continued freeing dozens of
detained activists in a deal reached last month with Catholic leaders
and Spain.

Activists said on Sunday three of the newly detained dissidents were
being held in Havana, and five others in Guantanamo, in eastern Cuba.

Opposition leaders said the detainees in the Cuban capital were Luis
Labrador, Eduardo Perez and Michel Rodriguez, all of whom were arrested
on August 16 during a protest at the University of Havana.
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"They committed no crime, they were just exercising their rights of free
speech and free assembly, but were arrested all the same," said Sarah
Marta Fonseca, who was briefly detained at the same protest, but later

Meanwhile, Cuban dissident leader Elizardo Sanchez told AFP that five
other dissidents were arrested on August 12 for attending a political
meeting at a private home in Guantanamo.

Sanchez identified those detained as Francisco Manzanet, Roberto
Gonzalez, Enyor Diaz, and two brothers, Ernesto Rodriguez Lobaina and
Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina.

Authorities in Havana have not confirmed the arrests.

The report of new dissident arrests came as Cuba continued to fulfill
its pledge to free political prisoners as part of a deal brokered last
month by Spain.

After Cuba agreed to free 52 of 75 dissidents sentenced in 2003 to
prison terms of up to 28 years, 20 dissidents arrived in Spain last
month, and six more earlier this month.

Havana agreed to free the 52 dissidents within a period of four months
amid a hunger strike by Guillermo Farinas, a psychologist and leading

Another political prisoner, Orlando Zapata, died in detention on
February 23 after 85 days on hunger strike.

Cuban opposition leaders said that even after the release of the 52
dissidents, another 115 political prisoners -- not including any newly
arrested dissidents -- will still be languishing behind bars in the
communist island."

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