US concerned about ‘violent silencing’ in Cuba

Cuba+USAFlags-1Washington, United States (AFP) — The top US diplomat for Latin America expressed concern Monday about the “violent silencing” of dissidents in Cuba, days before the resumption of US-Cuba talks.

“Concerned about violent silencing of peaceful voices for change in Cuba,” tweeted Roberta Jacobson, who last month led the first negotiations on restoring diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana after decades in the deep freeze.

On Sunday, the dissident group Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) said more than 200 opponents of Cuba’s communist government were arrested, including in the capital Havana, before being released a few hours later.

The group warned of an increase in arrests, beatings and harassment of dissidents.

Last week, American lawmakers visiting Havana said the United States would continue to push Cuba on its human rights record.

The next round of talks on normalising relations is scheduled to start Friday in the US capital.

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