Cuba’s ‘inner circle of power’ ramps up repression


Raúl Castro lacked the theatrical skills of Fidel Castro, but being a precise and methodological manager, he hand–picked the military inner circle of power, with the close input of retiring “Comandantes” Machado Ventura and Ramiro Valdés, among others, historian Pedro V. Roig, and Janisset Rivero write in a new report for the Cuban Center for Strategic Studies.

In the month of June alone, the regime carried out a staggering 291 repressive actions against those daring to dissent, new reports suggest. At least 116 women are currently serving prison terms in Cuba for political reasons, according to a list compiled by various NGOs, including the Cubalex legal information center, Prisoners Defenders, Justicia 11-J and the Cuban Human Rights Observatory, Diario de Cuba adds.

On 30th May, civil society group Prisoners Defenders released its first comprehensive study on the torture of political prisoners in Cuba, CIVICUS adds. From April 2022 to March 2023, the organization documented 181 cases of mistreatment and torture of political dissidents, journalists, and citizens who have been detained or imprisoned because of their opposition to the Cuban government. According to the study, prisoners have been deprived of medical care, forced into excessive labour in extreme conditions, kept in solitary confinement and been subjected to physical aggression.

Which helps explain why ….

In the draft House fiscal 2024 State-Foreign Operations spending bill, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee, wants to boost funding by 50 percent for democracy promotion efforts in Cuba, from $20 million in fiscal 2023 to $30 million, Roll Call’s Rachel Oswald reports.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul announced a bipartisan roundtable on the Second Anniversary of Cuba’s Historic July 11 Pro-democracy Protests. The panelists will highlight the dire situation of Cuban political prisoners, such as music artist Maykel Osorbo, and activist José Daniel Ferrer. 

Date: Monday, July 10th, 2023. Time: 10:30am ET. Location: Assault Brigade 2506 Museum,
13651 NW 107th Ave, Hialeah Gardens, FL 33018.


Rosa María Payá (above), Founder, Cuba Decide, Executive Director, Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana.

Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat, Coordinator, Assembly of the Cuban Resistance. RSVP

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