For those of us who blog about Cuba, Thursday night and Friday where tense.
Some of the people that we hold in the highest esteem had been assaulted, arrested or were unaccounted for.
Thankfully, most have now been released.
A kinder, gentler repression.
While looking for information on the demonstration lead by Martha Beatriz Roque at the Cuban Justice ministry and the ensuing chaos, I made some observations.
Raul is now credited for reducing the number of political prisoners by more than 20% since he took the reins from his ailing brother. Never mind that most of those released since then have served their unjust terms or the fact that there are actually people thrown in jail for having a differing political opinion.
The “new” regime has also learned that constant harassment and short “detentions” are just as effective repressive techniques as long incarcerations and much more acceptable to the world. This morning the first instinct is to rejoice that all those detained have been released, rather than protest the gross violation of human rights that occurred when they were not allowed to carry on a simple peaceful protest. When monks and photographers are getting blown away in Burma, actions like throwing somebody in a bus and taking them home “for their own protection”-like they did to Martha Beatriz Roque-and holding someone overnight for questioning, pale in comparison.
It is also clear that civil disobedience in Cuba is taking hold as a tool against the repressive communist regime. Leaders like Martha Beatriz Roque and Antuñez keep taking it to the streets and are gaining converts.