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The Ten-Year Anniversary of "La Primavera Negra" in Cuba Serves as a Reminder of Continued Repression
Ten years ago, the government of Fidel Castro arrested and tried 75 Cuban dissidents for their defense of freedom of expression, human rights and democracy in one of the largest government crackdowns on human rights defenders and civil society activists on the island. On the anniversary of what has been widely termed the Black Spring, we are reminded Cuba has done little to change its authoritarian practices over the years and continues to extinguish any hint of political dissent among Cuban citizens.
Those targeted on March 18, 2003 were independent journalists, librarians and human rights defenders. They received harsh jail sentences ranging between six and thirty years for engaging in “subversive activity against the state.” Many of the dissidents have since been released from prison, but were forced into exile in Spain.
Human rights defenders, bloggers, journalists and lawyers are still continuously targeted by the government. Today, activists face short-term detentions in addition to the sadly common threats, intimidations and beatings. Freedom House consistently places Cuba among the world’s most repressive societies. Cuba was rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2013, Freedom of the Press 2012 and Freedom on the Net 2012.
In commemoration of the anniversary of the Black Spring, Freedom House again calls upon the Cuban government to cease its political repression and reform laws that incarcerate innocent citizens.
Freedom in the World 2013: Cuba
Freedom of the Press 2012: Cuba
Freedom on the Net 2012: Cuba
Blog: Freedom at Issue