It is futile to try to accurately count the number of politically motivated arrests in Cuba. After all, the Cuban secret police, and the vile, repressive regime it servses and protects, does not have as priorities the accountability and transparency that would aid in tracking how many Cubans are arrested, detained, etc. because of their political opposition to the dictatorship. All it cares about is silencing the opposition by any means necessary.
Even different groups within the opposition will disagree on the exact numbers -- but agree that that the repression, whatever the best wishes of the Castro regime's apologists, is as extensive and intrusive as ever.
It is, however, important to try to keep a count, in order to capture the breadth and depth of the repression in Cuba, and to one day instill the accountability that has been missing on the island for too long.
One group on the island that is dedicated to detailing as best as possible the human rights situation in Cuba is the independent news agency Centro de Informacion Hablemos Press, or CIHPRESS.
CIHPRESS reported today that in July it documented 266 politically motivated arrests, bringing the total for the year to 1,864. By comparison, the group reported 1,499 arrests in all of 2010.
"The intimidation, the harassment, the detentions, the beatings and the acts of repudiation , as well as the coercive use of the judicial apparatus, are some of the methods the Cuban authorities use to prevent the exercise of the liberties in the island," CIHPRESS reported.
CIHPRESS's count is probably an undercount, considering how pervasive the repression is in Cuba, and the regime's interest in covering up whenever possible the extent of what it is willing to do to hold onto power.
Whatever the number, the reality remains the same.
For details on each arrest documented by CIHPRESS, read this.