Don't be fooled by the "promise" of change in Cuba.
Don't be fooled by half-measures like the loosening of restrictions on overseas travel by Cubans.
Don't be fooled by the appointment of a well-coifed, new generation No. 2 who despite the delusions of the regime's apologists, promises only more of the same for Cuba.
Instead, focus on a number -- in February, that number was 471 -- that more than any product of wishful thinking or willful ignorance, represents the reality of Cuba today.
The Centro de Información Hablemos Press, or CIHPRESS, news agency/human rights group on Monday reported that it had documented 471 politically motivated arrests on the island in February. That was up from 302 arrests in January.
"One more time, before public opinion, we make a call for the military regime of General Raul Castro that it quit repressing the civil society and respect the human rights accords his government signed in 2008," CIHPRESS concluded in its report.
The Castro regime's deplorable human rights record does not fit into the common narrative about Cuba today, that so-called "reforms" are transforming life on the island, that freedom is breaking out all over.
As revealed in the CIHPRESS report, those are nothing but lies.
Don't be fooled.
For details of each arrest recorded by CIHPRESS, go here.