In a country like Cuba, under the iron rule of a ruthless dictatorship, it is impossible to quantify the repression, since it is part of the the regime's governing strategy to make sure it is not held accountable for how it treats the people.
Fortunately, in Cuba there are at least two opposition organizations -- the Hablemos Press news agency and the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation -- that each month break the dictatorship's blockade on information about repression on the island by releasing statistics and other details about politically motivated arrests.
Hablemos Press reported 394 arrests in March, bringing the total for the year to 1,167. (In all of 2012, there were 5,503 arrests.)
The human rights commission reported 354 arrests. That's the lowest monthly total since November 2011 when there were 257 arrests, but the commission said there is nothing to suggest that this is the beginning of a downward trend in repression.
So far in 2013, the commission has reported 1,222 arrests, compared to 6,602 arrests in all of last year.
Their exact counts usually differ -- there are several but ultimately irrelevant reasons for that -- but the bottom line is the same: Repression in Cuba continues unabated, belying those who believe that "reforms" are taking hold on the island.
Each politically motivated arrest, each act of repression, is enough proof of that.
(Click on the links above for details on each recorded arrest.)