Ninety Cuban protesters arrested as Kerry visit looms

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2015/08/10/ninety-cuban-protesters-arrested-as-kerry-visit-looms/

Less than a week before Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Havana, tensions grew in Cuba’s capital as 90 activists protesting the country’s recently renewed ties with America were arrested Sunday, according to YahooNews and the AFP.

The majority of the protesters, approximately 50, were members of the Ladies in White dissident group, while others wore black and white masks of President Barack Obama’s face.

According to the AFP, some of the anger was directed at Obama because his announcement late last year to foster relations with Cuba has led to a stronger crackdown on those who oppose the country’s government.

“It’s his fault, what is happening,” former political prisoner Angel Moya told AFP before being detained. “The Cuban government has grown even bolder.”

Kerry will be in Cuba, the only one-party communist country in the Western hemisphere, on Friday to attend a ceremonial inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Havana. He will be the first U.S secretary of sate to visit Cuba since 1945.

Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White protest group that formed in 2003 with wives and female relatives of jailed activists, said she hopes Kerry will meet with like protest groups and other non-governmental organizations during his time visiting the former Cold War foe.

Washington should “give the Cuba government some conditions to get it to stop violating human rights,” Soler said.

This article was complied from staff and wire reports. NewBostonPost Web Editor Alex Jankowski contributed to this report.

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