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Marc R. Masferrer
I'm a career newspaper journalist. I also blog.
Recent Activity
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Members of the Ladies in White Human Rights organization are arrested by Cuban police on December 10, 2015 in Havana. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images) Fidel Castro's death alone, as welcome as it was, will not free Cuba from political repression. If... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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Fidel Castro could always count on sympathetic, if not outright fawning coverage in the international media. It's too much to say the media created Castro, but in his more than 60 years in the public spotlight many in the media,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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Eduardo Cardet, left, and Danilo "El Sexto" Maldonado Cuban democracy activist Rosa Maria Paya says she will present to United Nations human rights officials information about the arrests of activists Danilo Maldonado and Eduardo Cardet in the days after the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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El Sexto Amnesty International has declared Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado -- better known as El Sexto -- a prisoner of conscience after he was arrested not long after he posted on Facebook a video in which he mocked the death... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Cubans in Miami celebrate after the death of Fidel Castro, Nov. 26, 2016. (Photo: Marc R. Masferrer) The death of Fidel Castro, as significant as it was, does not change a thing in Cuba. Cuba and Cubans remain enslaved by... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
The bastard is dead. The death of Fidel Castro is the best news ever for Cuba and Cubans, whether they are on the island or in exile. Maybe, finally, real change -- that is, freedom -- will come to Cuba.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Amnesty International is sounding the alarm on behalf of Cubalex, a Cuba-based group of human rights lawyers that AI says has been subjected in recent months to increased harassment and intimidation by the Castro dictatorship: Progressively since September, Cuban authorities... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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President Barack Obama and Guillermo Farinas, in Miami in 2013. (Photo: Martinoticias.com) Cuban human rights activist Guillermo Farinas is urging President-elect Donald Trump to halt or suspend trade and investment deals between the United States and Cuba until the Castro... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
Former Cuban political prisoner Jorge Alberto Liriano Linares, who spent several years in the Castro gulag, has died, according to journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra Perez, who reported the news on Facebook. As I noted in a 2008 profile of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Cubans use a Wi-Fi hot spot. (EFE photo via Martinoticias.com) Internet freedom remains almost nonexistent in Cuba, despite "modest steps" to increase the public's access, according to a new Freedom House report on internet freedom around the world. Out of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Pope Francis and Raul Castro, during the pope's visit to Cuba in March. (Getty Images) In response to Pope Francis' call for a show of mercy, the Castro dictatorship this week pardoned 787 "common prisoners." But human rights activists said... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Sol Garcia Basulto (photo via Facebook) Cuban independent journalist Sol García Basulto is pleading with the world to take up her cause, after the Castro secret police threatened to imprison her and punish her family because of her work. Garcia,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Photo via Martinoticias. Fourteen months or so after the United States reopened its embassy in Havana, political repression in Cuba is as awful as ever. In fact, by one count, 2016, with two months still to go, is the worst... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Rolando Reyes Rabanal Cuban human rights activist Rolando Reyes Rabanal, who was one of 53 political prisoners released after the U.S. and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations in December 2014, was arrested Saturday after returning from a visit to Colombia. Reyes... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
This post will remain at the top of the page through June 25. During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
The Cuban secret police made at least 724 politically motivated arrests in May, according to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation. It was the lowest monthly count since last July, when there were 674, but at best it... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names. Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names. Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
Four of the most powerful voices in the Cuban opposition -- the former "black spring" prisoners of conscience Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Ivan Hernandez and Felix Navarro -- traveled to the United States last week to... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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Yunet Cairo Reigad and Yaquelin Heredia Morales As part of its overall repressive nature, the Castro dictatorship carries on a vicious war on women, especially those who dare to challenge its rule. Just asked the Damas De Blanco, or "Ladies... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names. Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names. Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names. Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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The Castro dictatorship made at least 5,351 politically-motivated arrests in the first four months of 2016, the non-governmental Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation said Tuesday. At the current monthly pace, by sometime in July this will be... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at Uncommon Sense
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This week's Uncommon Sense Cuban Political Prisoners of the Week are five activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba, who have been in jail since their arrests last summer after peaceful protests at Central Park in Havana. This past week,... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2016 at Uncommon Sense