Anyone wondering about what the Castro dictatorship really thinks about the re-start of relations with the United States, and the promises of hope and change from President Barack Obama if Cubans just follow his lead, only has to look at the Cuban street.
There, they would find a horrible spike in political repression that despite Obama's mea culpa, as represented by his visit to the last month, for the previous 57 years in the U.S-Cuba relationship, the dictatorship has no plans to change how it treats the Cuban people.
The very unofficial, but always authoritative Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported Monday that it had recorded at least 1,416 political arrests in March -- including 498 that coincided with Obama's three days in Havana, March 20-22.
"In the days of the historic and friendly visit to Cuba of President Barack Obama, the island's government, instead of ensuring an atmosphere of public tranquility, unleashed a true wave of political repression and uncounted intimidating actions," the commission wrote in its monthly report.
The monthly tally is the second-highest count since the commission began counting in January 2010, surpassed only by the 1,447 arrested last November. For the year, the count is up to 3,971, or 46 percent of the 8,616 arrests reported in all of 2015.
EFE reports more details of the repression recorded in March:
The commission, the only group to independently tally these incidents on the communist island, said that in March there were also 76 cases of physical attacks by state agents on opposition figures.
So far this year, there have been 3,971 arrests for political motives in Cuba, although the Commission says that the true number is much higher "since it's impossible to make a comprehensive tally given the opaque and closed nature of the regime in power in Cuba for almost six decades."
The Commission said that among the "most disturbing and condemnable" cases is that of opposition member Yuri Valle Roca, who received "brutal beating at the hands of secret political police agents on March 20" after he had been under arrest for three days.
The dissident group also mentioned Aliuska Gomez, a member of the Ladies in White group, who had to receive stitches on one of her ears after being hit "countless times" on March 29, and Rosa Escalona, whose ankle was broken "during an attack by regime agents on March 19."