More and more Americans are learning of this weekend's arrests in Cuba - and are showing concern. The New York Sun reports the government's reaction:
On Saturday, the American government denounced the crackdown as an act of "deplorable repression," and, in a statement from a deputy spokesman for the State Department, Adam Ereli, urged the Cuban government to "immediately free all of those arrested."
"We urge other countries to join us in condemning these acts," the statement continued.
The EU is also expressing its concern. It has not yet, though, said it will not continue to invite fidel's diplomats to cocktail parties.
"Our European allies have great leverage over the Cuban regime," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican of Florida, said, referring to the economic investments and tourism business Europe sends to Cuba. "They've said they're interested in human rights. They've talked the talk; let's get them to walk the walk and push the Castro regime on this latest roundup."
"I think it's very clear," Mr. (Czech Ambassador to US, Martin) Palous said, "that those who have been arguing in favor of more 'constructive' and 'outreaching' policies toward Cuba should learn their lesson."
The aftermath of Hurricane Dennis seems to have really stirred things up. castro has refused aid from both the US and the EU, and has said he will accept help only from Venezuela, which has yet to deliver anything but promises.
At the same time, the Pastors For Peace caravan has crossed the Mexican border carrying what it says is 150-tons of aid destined for Cuba. They say they had begun with 180-tons, but US agents made them leave behind electronics which are not allowed under what the Pastors, and the Santa Cruz (Texas) Sentinel call the "blockade."
The big dispute seems to come every year over computers. The Pastors try to take them along, and the government continues to stop them, as computers are considered war materiel.
"We’re dealing with citizens who were devastated by a hurricane," said Jessica Schafer, spokeswoman for Farr. "It has nothing to do with governments."
Two things, Jessica. Your group has nothing to do with a hurricane. You've been doing this for 16-years. This caravan began long before Dennis struck. Second, it has everything to do with government in Cuba. Don't you understand that fidel has mastered the control of the Cuban population by controlling the small details of their lives? The enemy of the Cuban people is not the US government, but their own.