rights advocates throughout the world protested The Castro regime paid a price

Rights advocates throughout the world protested the

This preview shows page 11 - 12 out of 30 pages.

rights advocates throughout the world protested . The Castro regime paid a price for the arrests of what became known as Cuba's Black Spring.¶ Slowly over the years, and as had been Cuba's habit, those jailed were released — this time at the request of Cuba's Catholic Church. Most were forced to leave the island with their families . Since then, repression of dissidents in Cuba has not died down . It has only been perfected to attract less attention worldwide. Now they have government trained goon squads go out to harass and beat the dissidents when they peacefully protest. If that doesn't work, they are beaten up in public, thrown into state security vehicles and arrested for a few days . Some have been known to die in mysterious circumstances, like Laura Pollán. a the leader of the Ladies in White, a fast growing group of women who ask for the freedom of political prisoners in the island by peacefully marching outside churches throughout the island on Sundays. ¶ A decade ago they marched only in Havana outside Santa Rita, a church in the Playas District, adjacent to Havana. Now they have chapters in countless cities throughout the island.¶ But, getting back to Rodiles: The scientist, trained in Cuba, Mexico and the United States after living outside the island with permission from the government, decided to return to raise his voice peacefully in opposition to the regime . He organized a television program that is distributed within the island and aired in Radio and TVMartí to discuss with a panel the lack of freedoms in Cuba . Rodiles' most dangerous endeavor, however, was to sign, distribute and present to the Cuban government a petition called "Citizens Demand for a Different Cuba." The petition turned over thousands of signatures to Cuba's National Assembly, asking only that the government abide by its own laws respecting the rights of people to peacefully assemble and protest.¶ All this makes Rodiles a dangerous man in the eyes of the Cuban government. When he went to the offices of the Interior Ministry on November 8 to seek information on why another dissident Yaremis Flores, an attorney, had been arrested, Rodiles was picked up and jailed. Now the government wants to try him and jail him for a year . He has been behind bars since he was arrested.¶ Rodiles is not alone . The internationally renowned blogger Yoanis Sánchez was arrested and released for inquiring about the arrest of another dissident. The number of dissidents arrested in recent weeks in Cuba is in the hundreds. They are harassed, beaten by goon squads, taken in unmarked cars, and released in a few days . The harassment of these brave people who clamor only for the respect for the most basic human rights extends to their families. They are urged, and sometimes forced to leave Cuba. Some are allowed to die while on hunger strikes in jail .
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