Opposition activists arrested in Cuba

Nov. 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM
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MIAMI, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Several Cuban dissidents were arrested after protesting in front of a Havana police station over the arrests of a group of activists and independent lawyers.

Among those arrested Thursday were blogger Yoani Sanchez, former political prisoner Guillermo Farinas, and writers Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Angel Santiesteban and Eugenio Leal, as well as several former political prisoners from the Group of 75, The Miami Herald reported.

"A wave of repressive has been noted in the capital. It has a spiral or domino effect," Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz, a spokesman for the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation told El Nuevo Herald.

The Thursday arrests came after police arrested independent lawyers Yaremis Flores, Laritza Diversent and Veisant Boloy, as well as several activists, on Wednesday.

"We do not know what the condition of these people arrested and have no information of their whereabouts. These arrests were made without any legal basis," said Wilfredo Vallin, a Havana lawyer who heads the Cuban Law Association. "We've heard that some of them were beaten. Obviously, this cannot be allowed to continue."

In Miami on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., criticized the crackdown against opposition ranks in an email to El Nuevo Herald.

"Just one day after Obama's re-election, the brutal Castro regime continues to do what it does best: arresting and beating peaceful pro-democracy activists," said Ros-Lehtinen. "I have hope that this administration [Obama] will see these despots and tyrants for what they are."

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