A crackdown on Cuban dissidents caused a rift with the United States on Wednesday. It was the first major diplomatic commotion between the two countries since diplomatic ties were restored earlier in December last year.
According to the head of the officially banned Cuban Human Rights Commission, Elizardo Sanchez, the communist authorities arrested more than 30 dissidents on Tuesday in an attempt to stop them from attending an open mic session which was held for Cubans to speak out about their future.
Washington condemned the arrests and called Cuba’s actions a lack of respect for the citizen’s human rights.
The U.S. State Department released a statement saying: “We strongly condemn the Cuban government’s continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence, to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and freedom (of) expression, and intimidate citizens.”
Without having compassion for human rights how will Cuba ever earn the world’s respect?
The communist government has not confirmed the arrests and their state media hasn’t reported on the allegations. The U.S. vows more pressure, but the political rift comes at a time when President Obama is seeking to establish strong economic and diplomatic ties with the long embargoed country.