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Uncommon Sense

For a free Cuba. And more.

Members of the Cuban Damas de Blanco were arrested during a demonstration in March. (AP photo) In the post-fact world we live in, you can interpret numbers anyway you want, even when they reflect the absolute tyranny of the Castro... Continue reading
Members of the Ladies in White Human Rights organization are arrested by Cuban police on December 10, 2015 in Havana. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images) Fidel Castro's death alone, as welcome as it was, will not free Cuba from political repression. If... Continue reading
Fidel Castro could always count on sympathetic, if not outright fawning coverage in the international media. It's too much to say the media created Castro, but in his more than 60 years in the public spotlight many in the media,... Continue reading
Eduardo Cardet, left, and Danilo "El Sexto" Maldonado Cuban democracy activist Rosa Maria Paya says she will present to United Nations human rights officials information about the arrests of activists Danilo Maldonado and Eduardo Cardet in the days after the... Continue reading
El Sexto Amnesty International has declared Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado -- better known as El Sexto -- a prisoner of conscience after he was arrested not long after he posted on Facebook a video in which he mocked the death... Continue reading
Cubans in Miami celebrate after the death of Fidel Castro, Nov. 26, 2016. (Photo: Marc R. Masferrer) The death of Fidel Castro, as significant as it was, does not change a thing in Cuba. Cuba and Cubans remain enslaved by... Continue reading
The bastard is dead. The death of Fidel Castro is the best news ever for Cuba and Cubans, whether they are on the island or in exile. Maybe, finally, real change -- that is, freedom -- will come to Cuba.... Continue reading
Amnesty International is sounding the alarm on behalf of Cubalex, a Cuba-based group of human rights lawyers that AI says has been subjected in recent months to increased harassment and intimidation by the Castro dictatorship: Progressively since September, Cuban authorities... Continue reading
President Barack Obama and Guillermo Farinas, in Miami in 2013. (Photo: Martinoticias.com) Cuban human rights activist Guillermo Farinas is urging President-elect Donald Trump to halt or suspend trade and investment deals between the United States and Cuba until the Castro... Continue reading
Former Cuban political prisoner Jorge Alberto Liriano Linares, who spent several years in the Castro gulag, has died, according to journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra Perez, who reported the news on Facebook. As I noted in a 2008 profile of... Continue reading
Cubans use a Wi-Fi hot spot. (EFE photo via Martinoticias.com) Internet freedom remains almost nonexistent in Cuba, despite "modest steps" to increase the public's access, according to a new Freedom House report on internet freedom around the world. Out of... Continue reading
Pope Francis and Raul Castro, during the pope's visit to Cuba in March. (Getty Images) In response to Pope Francis' call for a show of mercy, the Castro dictatorship this week pardoned 787 "common prisoners." But human rights activists said... Continue reading
Sol Garcia Basulto (photo via Facebook) Cuban independent journalist Sol García Basulto is pleading with the world to take up her cause, after the Castro secret police threatened to imprison her and punish her family because of her work. Garcia,... Continue reading
Photo via Martinoticias. Fourteen months or so after the United States reopened its embassy in Havana, political repression in Cuba is as awful as ever. In fact, by one count, 2016, with two months still to go, is the worst... Continue reading
Rolando Reyes Rabanal Cuban human rights activist Rolando Reyes Rabanal, who was one of 53 political prisoners released after the U.S. and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations in December 2014, was arrested Saturday after returning from a visit to Colombia. Reyes... Continue reading
This post will remain at the top of the page through June 25. During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was... Continue reading
The Cuban secret police made at least 724 politically motivated arrests in May, according to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation. It was the lowest monthly count since last July, when there were 674, but at best it... Continue reading
This post will remain at the top of the page through June 11, 2016 During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed... Continue reading
This post will remain at the top of the page through June 4, 2016 During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed... Continue reading
Four of the most powerful voices in the Cuban opposition -- the former "black spring" prisoners of conscience Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Ivan Hernandez and Felix Navarro -- traveled to the United States last week to... Continue reading
Yunet Cairo Reigad and Yaquelin Heredia Morales As part of its overall repressive nature, the Castro dictatorship carries on a vicious war on women, especially those who dare to challenge its rule. Just asked the Damas De Blanco, or "Ladies... Continue reading
This post will remain at the top of the page through May 28 , 2016. During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he... Continue reading
This post will remain at the top of the page through May 21 , 2016. During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he... Continue reading
This post will remain at the top of the page through May 14 , 2016. During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he... Continue reading
The Castro dictatorship made at least 5,351 politically-motivated arrests in the first four months of 2016, the non-governmental Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation said Tuesday. At the current monthly pace, by sometime in July this will be... Continue reading
This week's Uncommon Sense Cuban Political Prisoners of the Week are five activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba, who have been in jail since their arrests last summer after peaceful protests at Central Park in Havana. This past week,... Continue reading
Not willing to let Cubans demonstrating for freedom upset their May Day party, the Castro dictatorship Sunday unleashed another day of repression, moving to block Damas De Blanco and other activists from taking to the streets to demand respect for... Continue reading
During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names. Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several... Continue reading
South Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line has enlisted itself as an agent of the apartheid regime in Havana, accepting as a condition of voyages to Cuba the banning from its passenger lists of U.S. citizens and residents who were born on... Continue reading
Different Sunday, same story from the Cuban streets, with the dictatorship moving to stop peaceful opposition activists from demonstrating for freedom, democracy and human rights.. [View the story "Another Sunday of repression in Cuba, 4/10/16" on Storify] Continue reading
Barack Obama and Raul Castro. (AP photo) Anyone wondering about what the Castro dictatorship really thinks about the re-start of relations with the United States, and the promises of hope and change from President Barack Obama if Cubans just follow... Continue reading
If you thought the influx into Cuba of Barack Obama, Mick Jagger and other opportunists into Cuba this past week meant political repression on the island had become a thing of the past, you'd be sorely mistaken. Instead Easter Sunday... Continue reading
I will leave it to the CNNs and the New York Timeses to report on the "historic" nature of President Obama's dalliance in Cuba -- a few hours in, some of it already is hysterical. Instead, this blog remains committed... Continue reading
A Cuban police officer arrests a member of the Damas de Blanco, or "Ladies In White." The Cuba President Barack Obama will visit this month has in 2016 suffered some of the most brutal repression in the past decade. The... Continue reading
[View the story "Another Sunday of repression in Cuba, 2/28/16" on Storify] Continue reading
Via Twitter, former Cuban prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carillo reports from other the island that the Castro dictatorship has announced that seven of the 11 former Group of 75 prisoners still in Cuba under a type of parole will... Continue reading
Different Sunday, same repression in Cuba. Don't expect it to stop just because President Barack Obama is going to Havana. (Yes, the latest arrests come about 48 hours after Obama announced his jaunt to Cuba.) [View the story "Almost 200... Continue reading
Repression in Cuba never takes a holiday, even on a day that celebrates love like St. Valentine's Day. [View the story "From Castro with hate: More than 130 Cuban activists arrested on Valentine's Day" on Storify] Continue reading
Another Sunday of repression in Cuba, the 40th Sunday Cubans have taken to the streets to demand their rights and their freedom. [View the story "Another Sunday of repression in Cuba, Feb. 7, 2016" on Storify] Continue reading
Cuban independent journalist Lazaro Yuri Valle is arrested in Havana on Dec. 10. 2015. (EFE photo via Martinoticias.com) Even if you believe and/or trust President Barack Obama's assurances that the reopening of relations with the Castro dictatorship in Cuba would... Continue reading
This happens every day across Cuba. From 14ymedio via Translating Cuba: Carlos Oliva Rivery from UNPACU (Twitter) 14ymedio, Havana, 29 January 2016 — The houses of Alexeis Martínez and Carlos Oliva Rivery, both members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba... Continue reading
In an interview posted on YouTube, and just days after his release, former Cuban political prisoner Hugo Damien Prieto vows to continue as part of the struggle for freedom in Cuba, "until the end of the Castros." He also thanked... Continue reading
"Economic reform" in Cuba doesn't mean anything if it doesn't allow the people to eat what they want. When Cuban police raided food vendors doing business free of the normal controls, the people wanting and needing food pushed back. 14ymedio,... Continue reading
Raul Castro pays homage to Cuba's former Russian masters, and it's as ugly as you might imagine. Continue reading
Be sure to watch an independent journalist's remarkable video report on Havana residents' reaction to the lack of sufficient response by the Castro regime after flooding this week. [View the story "Castro's Katrina: Havana residents blast #Cuba dictatorship's lack of... Continue reading