A slow roundup of Cuban opposition activists in the province of Guantánamo in eastern Cuba for six months, with the secret police and imprisoning at least seven people because of their human rights and political activities. The crackdown was launched in response to the appearance of bumper stickers and other signs calling for CAMBIO, or "change," and for Cubans to not cooperate with the Castro dictatorship.
The two latest to be imprisoned are Rodolfo Barthelemy Cobas and Alejandro Jiménez Blanco.
Barthelemy, 37, was arrested March 23. His relatives said the authorities had re-instituted a 15-year prison sentence that Bathelemy, president of the Citizens Committee on Human Rights, had received in 1993 after he was caught trying to leave Cuba without government permission.
Independent journalist Juan Carlos González Leiva reports that Bathelemy was expected to be held in the Guantánamo Provincial Prison until May.
Jiménez, a member of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, on March 18 was convicted of the supposed crimes of "contempt" and "resistance," and sentenced to 2 years in prison. For his trial, the authorities let in only a handful of Jiménez's family members and cordoned off the courthouse in the town of Baracoa to prevent other government opponents from attending, according to another report filed by González Leiva.
Jiménez had been arrested the night of March 14 after police assaulted him and broke several bones. The attack came when Jiménez dared to raise his voice and criticize the police, according to González Leiva.
The other Guantánamo activists arrested and imprisoned in recent months — most of whom I have profiled previously on this blog — are Isael Poveda Silva, Yordi García Fournier, Julián Antonio Monet Borrero, Ricardo Galván Casal and Abel López Pérez.