Pro-Castro demonstrators break up dissident demo in Cuba

Pro-Castro demonstrators break up dissident demo in Cuba
Posted : Tue, 16 Mar 2010 18:56:08 GMT
By : dpa

Havana – Supporters of the Cuban communist government led by President Raul Castro on Tuesday broke up a dissident demonstration in Havana, witnesses said. More than 100 men and women shouting slogans in support of former long-time ruler Fidel Castro and the government now led by his brother, Raul. They chanted “Long live Fidel!” and “This street belongs to Fidel!” as they surrounded around 30 members of the so- called Damas de Blanco, the Ladies in White, a group of wives and mothers of imprisoned dissidents.

On December 10, government supporters had similarly heckled a demonstration by the Damas de Blanco to mark the International Day of Human Rights.

The group has scheduled various protest actions for this week, to mark the seventh anniversary of the arrest of their loved ones, 75 dissidents who were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison after being considered “mercenaries” in the service of the United States. Of these, 53 remain in prison.

Cuba has been the target of strong international criticism in recent weeks over the situation of political prisoners. One of them, Orlando Zapata, died last month while on a hunger strike. Another dissident, Guillermo Farinas, has been on hunger strike for 21 days and was being force-fed to keep him alive.

Cuban authorities insist that there are no political prisoners on the island and that Zapata and others are common prisoners. Human rights organizations, however, say there are about 200 political prisoners in Cuba.”,pro-castro-demonstrators-break-up-dissident-demo-in-cuba.html

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