News and Facts about Cuba

Cuban police detain protesters outside prison, dissidents say

Cuban detain protesters outside , dissidents say

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban police detained up to a dozen dissidents who
had gone to a Havana prison to demand that fellow opponents of the
government be released, dissidents said on Thursday.

The detentions follow a series of others since Tuesday in a crackdown
against activists who have attempted to test the communist government’s
tolerance for free speech and assembly in the wake of Cuba’s thaw in
relations with the United States.

Cuban officials do not comment on police activity such as the detention
of dissidents, and the Cuban government dismisses the opponents as paid
advocates of the U.S. government. The dissidents have limited public
support inside Cuba.

About a dozen protesters gathered outside the Vivac prison on the
outskirts of Havana, a Reuters photographer witnessed. They were
demanding the release of an estimated 10 dissidents who have been
detained since Tuesday, although the whereabouts of those detainees was
unknown.

The detentions at the prison started about 15 minutes after Reuters had
left the scene.

“It looks like they are going to start arresting people. Now they are
arresting people now,” Antonio Rodiles told Reuters before his
phone cut off.

Performance artist Tania was among those taken away, Rodiles
said. Her phone stopped accepting calls as well.

Bruguera attempted to stage an open-microphone protest outside Cuban
government headquarters at Revolution Square on Tuesday, but the event
was thwarted when police picked up Bruguera and other suspected
activists ahead of time.

Some 50 people were detained, 10 of whom remained in police custody as
of Thursday, according to the dissident Cuban Commission on
and National Reconciliation. Reuters could not verify those numbers
given the lack of official disclosure.

“If they don’t release them (the remaining detainees), I am going to
call another event at the Square,” Bruguera said earlier in the day.

The detentions are typical of how Cuba breaks up opposition protests but
have taken on greater significance they occurred just two weeks after
U.S. Barack Obama and Cuban said on Dec.
17 they would restore diplomatic ties and end decades of hostility.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source: Cuban police detain protesters outside prison, dissidents say –
Yahoo News –
http://news.yahoo.com/cuban-police-detain-protesters-outside-prison-dissidents-221341818.html;_ylt=AwrBEiTbtqZUvCAAgvvQtDMD

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