Cuba’s Dissident Crackdown Peaks Ahead of Obama’s Historic Visit
Even some supporters of President Barack Obama’s moves to strengthen relations with Cuba are questioning the timing of his planned visit to the Communist island next month, after arrests of dissidents by Raul Castro’s government reached a five-year high.
Obama vowed Thursday that he’ll promote human rights during his historic visit, the first by a sitting American president since 1928. But more than a year of warming relations between the nations, separated by just 90 miles, have so far failed to slow the Cuban government’s crackdown on political dissidents.
The Madrid-based Cuban Observatory on Human Rights said 1,474 people, including 512 women, were “arbitrarily” detained in January. The arrests have been climbing since the December 2014 announcement that the two governments would improve ties.