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Posted on Friday, 03.30.12

CRACKDOWN IN HAVANA

Cuba diverts dissidents' phone numbers in pope crackdown

A number for the Cuban Interior Ministry was used to block calls to
dissidents while Pope Benedict XVI was on the island.
By Juan O. Tamayo
jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

Cuba's Interior Ministry doesn't have to be subtle when it represses
dissidents. In charge of the communist-ruled country's domestic
security, it can do just about anything it wants.

But its brazenness hit a high this week when one of its telephone
numbers was openly listed as being part of the crackdown that blocked
the cellphones of hundreds of dissidents during Pope Benedict XVI's
three-day visit.

Cellphones affected clearly showed that calls to the dissidents were
diverted to 204-1234, a Havana number listed to Unit 9456-3 of the
Interior Ministry, known as MININT, at the corner of 60th and 19th
Avenues in the western district of Playa.

United 9456-3 was listed as a branch of a MININT office building in
Linea and Paseo Avenues in the Vedado district, a block or two from the
main headquarters of the ministry's Intelligence Directorate, similar to
the Soviet Union's KGB.

Neighbors reported the Linea and Paseo building holds offices for
counterintelligence and state security agents — the political police,
according to Calixto Ramon Mart


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