Havana (dpa) – Cuban dissidents said Monday that the government has detained more than 200 anti-government activists across the country just days before the next round of US-Cuba talks on Friday.
The arrests took place over the weekend, a spokesperson for the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) confirmed to dpa on Monday in Havana.
Earlier this month, the group said politically motivated arrests in Cuba had dropped considerably since the country’s leadership agreed to discuss restoring diplomatic ties with the United States.
In January, 178 activists were detained in Cuba, CCDHRN said at that time.
In December, Washington and Havana declared their intention to restore diplomatic relations after more than 50 years. The announcement was accompanied by a prisoner swap, and Cuba has since released dozens of political risoners.
Talks were formally launched in late January in Havana, and the US said that human rights were one of the main bones of contention after those talks.
Cuban President Raul Castro has set conditions for diplomatic progress, including the end of the US commercial embargo, the return of the territory where the US naval base of Guantanamo is located and reparations for the financial damage that US policy has caused Cuba over many decades.