There's nothing like the numbers to reveal the profundity of the repression in Cuba.
The Centro de Información Hablemos Press, or CIHPRESS, reported Friday that there were 402 politically motivated arrests across the island in October, bringing the total for the year to 4,542. (By comparison, there were 3,835 such arrests in all of 2011, and 1,499 in 2010.)
Whether CIHPRESS has got it exactly right is uncertain -- the Castro regime doesn't release precise figures, because they don't have to. But the trend is clear: Despite the wishful thinking of the appeasers and ignorant alike, repression in Cuba under Raul Castro has only gotten worse.
In most instances, those arrested were released after a few hours or a few days, a type of low-grade repression designed to keep the terror in the shadows that has become Raul's trademark.
But there also are four activists who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. They are:
- Emilio Plana Robert, a member of the Resistance and Democracy Movement, who was sentenced Oct. 6 to 42 months in prison after being found to be a "pre-criminal social danger."
- Reinaldo Castillo Martínez, a member of the Miguel Valdes Tamayo Human Rights Movement, who was sentenced Oct. 11 to 1 year in prison on a charge of "disrespect."
- Rafael Matos Montes de Oca, a member of the Resistance and Democracy Movement, who was sentenced Oct. 15 to 30 months in prison after being found to be a "pre-criminal social danger."
- Alberto Ramos Prados, a member of the Brothers to the Rescue Human Rights Movement, who was sentenced Oct. 18 to 18 months in prison for "disrespecting the figure of Fidel Castro.
CIHPRESS has details on the others arrested in October.