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Cuban dissident denounces arrest, seizure of property

Havana, Feb 6 (EFE).- Cuban dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez said Thursday that authorities held him for nine hours after storming his home and seizing his computer and other items. "Fire trucks, commandos, ambulances and a high official" took part in Wednesday's operation at his residence in the central town of Placetas, Garcia Perez, commonly known as "Antunez," told Efe by telephone. The authorities defaced posters with slogans such as "Long live free Cuba" before starting a search of the home, he said.

More than 1,000 arbitrary arrests in Cuba last month

Havana, Feb 4 (EFE).- The opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Monday said that in January 2014 there were at least 1,052 politically motivated arbitrary arrests on the Communist-ruled island. In its first monthly report about repression this year, the commission said that the arrests had as their main aim "to silence dissident voices" during the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, held last week in Havana.

More than 1,000 arbitrary arrests in Cuba last month

Havana, Feb 4 (EFE).- The opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Monday said that in January 2014 there were at least 1,052 politically motivated arbitrary arrests on the Communist-ruled island. In its first monthly report about repression this year, the commission said that the arrests had as their main aim "to silence dissident voices" during the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, held last week in Havana.

Cuban agent due for U.S. release but may not be free to go home

By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A Cuban intelligence agent jailed for 15 years for spying on Cuban American exiles in Miami is due to be freed next month, but may have to remain in the United States for three years of supervised release, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Fernando Gonzalez, 50, was arrested by the FBI in 1998 along with four other Cuban agents who were convicted in 2001 of 26 counts of spying on behalf of Fidel Castro's government.

Dozens of dissidents arrested in Cuba as major summit looms

Dozens of dissidents have been detained in a "wave of political repression" ahead of a major international summit in Cuba, activists said Sunday. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit hosting heads of state from across the region provides opportunities for dissidents in the Americas' only one-party Communist-ruled state to try to raise their profiles, and seek world leaders' ears. "The government is carrying out a wave of political repression ahead of the summit" in Havana that ends Wednesday, warned dissident Elizardo Sanchez.

Cuban dissident says under house arrest

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas said Sunday he has been placed under house arrest to keep him from taking part in an opposition forum on the sidelines of a Latin American summit. "Today is the third day they won't let me go out," Farinas told AFP by telephone from his home in Santa Clara, 280 kilometers east of Havana. "There is a police operative who stays a block away from my house during the day but is in front of it at night," he said.

Cuban dissident arrested after meeting with European leaders

Leading Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer has been arrested after meeting with European diplomats in Havana, activists said Saturday. Elizardo Sanchez, founder and leader of the illegal but tolerated Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission, said Ferrer was arrested late Friday and that it was unclear where he had been taken. Ferrer lives in Santiago de Cuba, some 900 kilometers (560 miles) southeast of Havana, where he leads the Patriotic Cuban Union dissident group.

Cuba marks 1 year under more liberal migration regime

Havana, Jan 14 (EFE).- Cuba's migration reform has been in effect one year this Tuesday and has allowed thousands of its citizens to travel abroad without the restrictions they suffered for decades, but with other problems like the price of travel tickets and getting a visa. The latest official figures show that between January and November 2013, some 185,000 Cubans traveled out of the country, many for the first time. The United States, where most Cuban expatriates live, was the main destination, accounting for 36 percent of all trips.

Dissidents free to travel but influence in Cuba wanes

For the first time in 50 years, Cuban dissidents were able to travel abroad in 2013 but as they distanced themselves from daily life on the island their influence at home waned. Yoani Sanchez, Guillermo Farinas, Berta Soler and other high-profile opposition figures left the Communist-run island for speaking engagements in the United States, Spain and elsewhere. Two of them even met US President Barack Obama, whose country does not have full diplomatic ties with Havana.

Up to 150 arrested in Cuba on global Human Rights Day

Havana, Dec 11 (EFE).- As many as 150 dissidents were arrested while trying to mark U.N. International Human Rights Day, the opposition Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission said Wednesday. "As a preliminary figure, (there were) between 100 and 150 people arrested, not counting other forms of harassment or acts of vandalism. There was a lot of police violence all across the country," commission spokesman Elizardo Sanchez told Efe by telephone.
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