HAVANA – The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation has reported that at least 200 dissidents and activists were arrested and briefly held over the weekend and were now free.
Elizardo Sanchez, the commission’s head, told Efe on Monday that most of the arrests took place on Sunday and more than half in Havana after the customary march by the Ladies in White opposition group in Havana’s Miramar district following Sunday mass.
Sanchez said that the members of the group were accompanied by other male activists who marched “peacefully” and were arrested when they tried to extend their usual route to place flowers in the sea.
Some of the arrests were violent, Sanchez said.
“This demonstrates eloquently that the Cuban government does not have the slightest inclination to bring about changes on the island,” Sanchez declared.
According to the dissident leader, the country’s new policies of rapprochement with the U.S. are only geopolitical changes, not internal ones on issues like human rights.
Some 90 members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba were also arrested over the weekend in eastern Cuba, the leader of the dissident group, Jose Daniel Ferrer, told Efe.