Cautious Optimism for Cuba?


The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation yesterday released a cautiously optimistic report on the island's political future. While Raul Castro still presides over "a police state whose nature is reflected in almost every aspect of national life," the report notes a moderate decrease in the number of political prisoners being held in Castro's gulag:

The number of political prisoners in Cuba has dropped by more than 20 percent since Raul Castro took over from his ailing elder brother, but widespread repression has continued, a leading independent human rights group said Thursday.

The commission, whose reports are regularly used by international groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, said 246 political prisoners were being held as of June 30, compared with 283 at the beginning of 2007 and 316 a year ago.

No word whether any independent librarians—those abandoned and ignored by the despicable American Library Association leadership—were among those released. (Make sure to read Nat Hentoff's columns on the ALA's Castrophilia here and here.)

In other Latin American commie news, Colombians have had enough of the FARC's thuggery. The Guardian reports:

More than a million people have staged marches and demonstrations across Colombia to demand the release of thousands of captives kidnapped by leftist rebels, some of whom have been held for years. The protest—the biggest such event in the country for almost eight years—followed the news that 11 regional MPs abducted five years ago by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, had been killed.

Full story here.