According to its monthly report, during the month of December the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation (CCDHRN) registered at least 489 arbitrary arrests for political reasons, closing out 2014 with at least 8,899 arrests for the year.
The commission, based in Havana, said that despite the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the US, “The situation of civil and political rights and other fundamental rights in Cuba continues to be the worst in the entire Western Hemisphere.”
The month of December was marked by two events that produced a large number of arrests. The first occurred on December 10, World Human Rights Day. That date was marked by a wave of, “At least 234 arrests at the hands of the Cuban government, often with violence, of peaceful dissidents,” according to the CCDHRN report.
The second wave of arrests occurred on 30 December, the date of the ‘performance’ scheduled by Tania Bruguera for the Plaza of the Revolution. At least 70 people, including several reporters from this digital newspaper, were arrested by the political police for attending or trying to attend the Tatlin’s Whisper performance, which was intended to exercise the right of free expression. These detentions lasted, in some cases, up to 72 hours.
The CCDHRN also warned that, compared with November, in December there was an increase in, “The victims of physical aggression, acts of vandalism and harassment, and acts of repudiation.” Furthermore, three new political prisoners were jailed in December: Danilo Maldonado, Sonia González and Marcelino Abreu.