CUBA BRIEF: 482 arbitrary arrests and a political activist dead, Cuba’s self-imposed embargo hurts Cubans, Castro’s Legacy and the Future of Cuba

Diario de Cuba, March 8, 2017


CCDHRN: 482 arbitrary arrests on the Island in February and a political activist, dead in prison

DDC | La Habana | 8 de Marzo de 2017

In its monthly report the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) denounced the “482 arbitrary arrests” of peaceful opponents and dissidents that took place in Cuba in the month of February.

The figure was slightly higher than those from the three preceding months: 359 arrests (November), 458 (December) and 478 (January).

“Our Commission also documented 16 cases of physical assaults and 18 cases of harassment perpetrated by undercover political police and paramilitary agents, with peaceful dissidents also their victims,” added the report, to which DIARIO DE CUBA had access.


The Washington Post, March 8, 2017

Bolivia’s Morales approves coca law after treatment in Cuba

By Carlos Valdez | AP 

LA PAZ, Bolivia — President Evo Morales on Wednesday signed into law a bill that nearly doubles the amount of land in Bolivia that can be legally planted with coca plants.

Morales returned home Tuesday night after receiving treatment in Cuba for a nodule in his vocal chords and he’ll need to return to the island in April for a brief operation. He had to cancel previous speaking events after losing his voice to a sore throat, but he spoke for nearly an hour Wednesday in favor of the law.



The Washington Examiner, March 8, 2017

Cuba’s self-imposed embargo is hurting Cubans more than the US embargo

[As one of my interviewees, Jorge, put it: “The embargo that most affects us is internal. We don’t need the United States; we can buy things from Mexico, Panama, China.” The problem, he explained, is that import taxes in Cuba are so high that it makes it impossible for anyone to buy things from other countries. “Either that,” Jorge continued, “or the customs officials steal your goods because they can.”]

By Katarina Hall

At the end of January, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced the Agricultural Export Expansion Act aimed at removing restrictions on United States agricultural exports to Cuba. Following the steps of 16 other states, Virginia also launched its Engage Cuba State Council, an initiative of the Cuba Engagement Coalition that seeks to promote trade and travel with Cuba and eventually lift the embargo.


The Daily Reveille, March 8, 2017

Human rights activists speak at “Castro’s Legacy and the Future of Cuba”

By Hannah Venerella

Though most consider communism to be a thing of the past, speakers from “Castro’s Legacy and the Future of Cuba,” a luncheon panel that was open to all University students on Wednesday in the LSU Student Union, pushed this idea aside.

“There are more people under the communist regime now than there were in 1989 … fully 20 percent of the world’s population are currently slaves to their government,” said Murray Bessette, director of academic programs at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation of Washington, D.C.