An exact count of how many politically-motivated arrests there are in Cuba each month is an impossible task for two main reasons: Those who do the counting, like the Hablemos Press (CIHPRESS) news agency, are themselves singled out for repression by the Castro dictatorship; and regime has no interest in allowing itself to be held accountable for how it targets its opposition.
An exact account is impossible.
But the numbers that we do have, do tell an important story about Cuba today: The repression is as awful as ever.
Hablemos Press reported Friday that it had talled 521 political arrests in December, including more than 120 arrests on Dec. 9-10 targeting activists trying to commemorate international Human Rights Day.
For the year, Hablemos Press recorded 5,503 arrests. That's up from 1,499 in 2010; and 3,835 in 2011.
The numbers differ from those compiled by another human rights group, but the bottom line is the same: The Castro dictatorship is terrified of its opponents, and that fear is growing.
For Hablemos Press's report on arrests in December, go here.