Raul Castro Continues Repressive Regime
Raul Castro, younger brother of Fidel, continues the repressive regime denying the Cuban people basic human rights. Human Rights Watch released a report on the state of Cuba today, alleging continuing human rights abuses. Using a catchall law that permits the state to imprison a person before they commit an offense, many people have been languishing in prison for many years.
In addition to imprisoning dissenters, Raúl Castro's government also enforces political conformity using beatings, short-term detention, public acts of repudiation, and the denial of work, among other tactics. Taken together, these everyday forms of repression create a climate of fear that has a profound chilling effect on the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Cuban society.
As a human rights defender, Rodolfo Bartelemí Coba, told Human Rights Watch in March 2009, "We live 24 hours a day ready to be detained." Ten days after making that statement, Bartelemí was arrested and taken to prison, where he remains.
The report did not let the United States of America off the hook either. They labelled the long standing embargo that the States have imposed on Cuba as costly and misguided, affecting the ordinary Cubans and adding to their poverty. The report by Human Rights Watch outlined several initiatives that they felt that the Western countries should undertake to pressure the Cuban Government to respect human rights.