Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Saturday, 4 March, 2000, 00:49 GMT
Cuban dissidents condemn 'repression'
Elizardo Sanchez
Elizardo Sanchez (right) has been denounced by Castro
By the BBC's Tom Gibb in Havana

Cuba's leading opposition human rights group has issued a report denouncing increased political repression on the island.

It describes the government's latest crackdown against government opponents as the worst in a decade.

The report by the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation says that some 600 people have been arrested, imprisoned or otherwise restricted over the last four months.

While most were released within a few days, at least four dissidents have been given longer jail sentences for peaceful activities.

Seventeen others remain in detention.

There have also been cases, particularly in small towns, where government mobs have attacked and beaten up dissidents.

The commission's president, Elizardo Sanchez, said the government crackdown was in response to increased activity by opponents.

'Traitors and puppets'

Certainly, Fidel Castro came out with strong warnings after the Ibero-American summit which was held in Havana in November.

He was furious when the leaders of Spain and many Latin American countries made a point of meeting dissidents during the summit and talking about human rights.

Opposition
Protestors at November's Ibero-American Summit
Since then however, government opponents say all the attention devoted internationally to the custody dispute over six-year-old Elian Gonzalez has provided cover for the government to clamp down.

Fidel Castro has repeatedly accused all government opposition groups of being paid for and run by the United States.

He calls them traitors and puppets.

Until now, his policy has been successful in keeping the opposition small and divided.

Opposition groups have no real public voice on the island. If they try to grow by recruiting new members, the government quickly clamps down.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Americas Contents

Country profiles
See also:

01 Jan 99 |  Americas
Castro: The great survivor
30 Sep 99 |  Americas
Cuba opposition plan for democracy
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories