Political Opponents Arrested in Havana

HAVANA TIMES — Several political dissidents were detained for several hours in Havana on Saturday after being stopped en route to a meeting of the opposition group Estado de SATS, reports the Cubaencuentro website.

Among those picked up were Manuel Cuesta Morua (the leader of the self-described “social-democratic” Arco Progresista party), as well as dissident blogger Orlando Luis Pardo and his wife Silvia Corbelle.

Pardo and his wife were back on the street that same evening at around 11:00 pm, while “only today (the following morning) was Manuel Cuesta Morua released. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Hugo Damian and two associates are still unknown, according to blogger Yoani Sanchez.

Antonio G. Rodiles, the head of Estado de Sats, called for people to meet on Saturday in front of the police station in El Cotorro and Section 21 in Marianao, where the detainees were supposedly being held.

“Enough with these violations, illegal arrests and violence,” said a message sent by Rodiles to a number of cell phones.

Short-term detentions, with no charges filed, has become the routine method used of late by State Securty to intimidate those critical of the government.

2 thoughts on “Political Opponents Arrested in Havana

  • ‘Moses’ really outdoes himself in crackpot posts sometimes. This has the appearance of being one of the wackiest – concocting a fantasy scenario where short term detentions lead to a “Cuban-style Arab Spring” – followed by a hardly veiled threat that “the richest and most powerful nation in the world” would not show the same restraint in Cuba that it showed in Libya and Syria.

    In between these flights of fancy ‘Moses’ asserts, “History supports the dissident movement”. Is this the same ‘Moses’ that posted about a dissident group closer to home – the Occupy Movement – that it is “a group of rabble rousers looking to damage public property or simply mix it up with the police”? An example of NIMBYism, perhaps – Not In My Back Yard? – or inconsistency, a hallmark of propagandists focused on selling their wares.

    On the subject of dissidents, the Occupy Movement folks certainly get rougher treatment in the US and Canada than the Cuban dissidents do – longer jail time, regularly clubbed with police truncheons and pepper sprayed.

    It’s tempting to characterize ‘Moses’, on the basis of his post, as a “sandwich short of a picnic” (I prefer the New Zealand version that I learned whenI was there better – “a kumara short of a hangi”, but it requires explaining. A hangi is a Maori traditional feast where kumaras – local sweet potatoes – are a major feature).

    But I think I detect more artifice in what ‘Moses’, or his franchise, writes. There is certainly ‘dedication’, which is another giveaway to the nature of what we are looking at.

    In the first part of what ‘Moses’ writes, he presents a highly problematical scenario about what short-term detentions in Cuba can lead to and himself as a benign figure warning Cubans about what can happen.

    It’s a variation of the ‘straw dog’ fallacy, where a false, or highly unlikely premise is put forth and then ‘Moses’ presents himself as a savior, warning of the dangers of his straw dog fantasy.

    The second part of what ‘Moses’ wrote is more ominous. If the ‘nice guy’ approach doesn’t work, then Cubans should be aware of what “the richest and most powerful nation in the world” is capable of if the US takes the gloves off.

    ‘Moses’ and ‘Griffin’ – not much to choose from – post variations of this ‘good cop, bad cop’ scenario. Oh, and that’s another giveaway at what we are looking at.

  • The regime is playing a very dangerous game. Using these short detentions as a method of intimidation will ultimately lead to an arrest which ends in disaster. Some overzealous State security agent will overdo his job and some detainee will be beaten too severely. Some CNN or Reuters reporter will be in the right place at the right time to report the story to the entire world. Some grave mistake will be macde and the fuse will be lit. A Cuban-style Arab Spring will have begun. History supports the dissident movement. Especially in view of a regime spiritually led by a despot not seen in public in nearly 5 months. The richest and most powerful nation in the world is chomping at the bit to support an insurgency in Cuba. What the US could not do in Libya and Syria, would be unrestrained in Cuba. All it takes is one mistake.

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