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By all accounts available, Ariel Castillo Chacón is not an anti-Castro activist, at least no more than the typical Cuban trying to survive life during dictatorship.
Taking no chances and acting before he might actually do something illegal, a Castro court on Dec. 16 found Castillo to be a "pre-criminal social danger" and sentenced him to two years in prison.
Castillo may not fit the traditional definition of "dissident," but there was a decidely political quality to his prosecution this month in Cienfuegos.
The court said Castillo is a social misfit because he doesn't work with the state and doesn't participate in activities sponsored by his block's Committee in the Defense of the Revolution.
Castillo's father, Edil Castillo Paseiro, said the authorities also accused his son of gathering with homosexuals and -- in perhaps the most serious charge against him, at least in the eyes of the regime -- and of having too many family members living in the United States.
The "social dangerousness" law is one of the most nefarious ways the Castro regime enforces its dictatorship, a means of repression that only George Orwell could have imagined.
As many in the world applaud Raul Castro's so-called "reforms," the case of Ariel Castillo illustrates that the regime has relaxed not one bit the control it holds on the lives of the Cuban people.