[Cuban] human rights activists confirmed that at least 75 members of the opposition had been prosecuted on state security charges in summary trials lasting no more than one day each. The known sentences for about half of them ranged from 15 to 27 years…”We are witnessing the harshest political trials of the past decade,” said [veteran activist Elizardo] Sanchez, among the few leading government opponents not arrested last month. Some of the longest sentences were reserved for independent journalists, including 27 years for reporter and photographer Omar Rodriguez Saludes; and 20 years each for poet and writer Raul Rivero, magazine editor Ricardo Gonzalez, and economics writer Oscar Espinosa Chepe. The Cuban government accused them–along with pro-democracy activists, opposition party leaders and other dissidents–of collaborating with U.S. diplomats to undermine the socialist state. [Associated Press, 4/8/03]

Notably absent from the trials: Castro’s “useful idiots” at CNN. (Hat Tip: Paul Blair)

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