Human Rights Group Warns Cuban Government Is Setting the Stage for Civil War to Hold onto Power

A police operation on Thursday, November 26, to arrest members of the San Isidro Movement, who were protesting the imprisonment of dissident rapper Denis Solís.(14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, December 4, 2020 — The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) claims that Raúl Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel are “setting the stage for civil war in order to hold onto power at any cost instead of adopting the reforms that Cuba urgently needs.”

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Madrid-based organization condemned the “wave of repression” on the island, citing at least 212 arbitrary detentions and 566 other abuses “at the site of activists’ homes (393), threats, assaults, harassment, police citations, fines, beatings and harassment.”

Last month saw the second highest number of arbitrary arrests this year. “Actions by the Cuban regime are causing ever more social and political discontent,” claims the OCDH, “and this translates into more police brutality against human rights activists and citizens in general.”

The Observatory particularly condemns the repression of activists from the San Isidro Movement (MSI). It warns the international community of the deployment of anti-riot troops in the streets of Havana and threats against the population,” citing the newspaper Granma’s warning of “armed struggle” against those who protest or dissent.

“It is very serious when, in the midst of a wave of repression, the Cuban Communist Party [newspaper] references on its front page the dreadful article in the Constitution which authorizes the regime to use arms against the civilian population,” states the organization.

It goes on to request immediate international condemnation of the regime and urgent political intervention by the European Union and the governments of Spain and Latin America.

Similarly, the executive director of the OCDH, Alejandro González Raga, published a letter in which he expressed his concern over the harassment to which MSI activists have been subjected after some thirty artists met with the Vice-Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas. He also condemned the “intense smear campaign in official media outlets” and the “criminalization” of the group’s members.


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