Repression in Cuba hit a new high in August, with two human rights monitors recording the highest monthly counts of politically motivated arrests so far in 2013.
"These facts prove that Cuba's government is not willing to improve in the near future the terrible political and civil rights situation that prevails on the island (probably the worst in the Western Hemisphere)," the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconcilation said in a statement accompanying its monthly census.
If anything, the Castro dictatorship has stepped up its attacks on dissidents and other opposition activists. For example, on each Sunday in the month the secret police and other goons in eastern Cuba have attacked and arrested Damas De Blanco and others wanting nothing more than to be able to walk to church for Mass.
The human right commission reported this week that there 547 politically motivated arrests in August, the highest monthly total since the 567 arrests recorded in December 2012. August was also the first month this year in which the number of arrests was higher than in the same month last year.
As of Aug. 31, the commission has recorded a total of 2,923 arrests this year.
Also reporting on the human rights situation on the island is the Hablemos Press news agency and human rights organization. It reported on Tuesday that it recorded 478 arrests in August, the highest monthly count so far this year.
For the year, Hablemos Press has recorded a total of 2,775 arrests.
As usual, the human rights commission and Hablemos Press differ on the exact scope of the political and human rights situation on the island, but it is telling that their respecive counts share an identtical bottom line:
August was an especially bad month for freedom in Cuba.