“Repression in Cuba increases”

Despite all the noise that Raul isn’t like his brother Fidel, a Castro is still a repressive tyrant. Check out this AP story on Yahoo! News:

Repression is increasing in Cuba under the control of Raul Castro, and the domination of the government by his brother, Fidel, is nearing an end, Bush administration officials said Tuesday.

“In Cuba, this year will mark the end of the long domination of that country by
Fidel Castro,” Mike McConnell, the nation’s new spy chief, told Congress.

McConnell, who did not explain his remark, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that significant positive change immediately after Fidel Castro’s death was unlikely. He said Raul Castro has had the opportunity to solidify his control in the seven months since his brother’s incapacitating illness last July.

Separately, the Bush administration official who oversees a White House effort to promote transition to democracy in Cuba said he has seen no indication that the government is getting ready to make any changes.

“What has increased is repression,” Caleb Charles McCarry said at a seminar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Security forces have stepped up harassment of dissidents and have kept closer track of reporters since Fidel Castro transferred control of Cuba’s government to his brother after undergoing intestinal surgery, the U.S. official said.

McCarry said the White House Commission for Assistance for a Free Cuba does “what it can to hasten the day when they can enjoy freedom again.”

He spoke primarily of broadcasts to Cuba and expressions of support for human rights, and said only peaceful means are used by the United States.

On the job since July 2005, McCarry dismissed any suggestion of U.S. dialogue with Cuba to prepare for transition to democracy. “The dialogue that needs to take place is between Cuban authorities and the Cuban people,” he said.

Pretty sad that Yahoo! posts the “Fidel Castro feels fine” article on their home page, then buries this story.