Cuban police in January made at least 178 politically motivated arrests, according to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.
It's the lowest monthly count by the group since September 2010, perhaps giving reason to trust that the Obama-Castro deal for closer U.S.-Cuba ties announced last month might signal a true change in the human rights situation on the island.
Of course, to conclude that after a single month -- after a record 8,899 arrests in 2014 -- would be, at best, naive, and at worst, confirm that the Obama-Castro deal has as yet, not brought real change to Cuba.
Even the State Department's top human rights official is not ready to go that far.
“The nature of the Cuban regime has not changed and we have not claimed so,” said Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of State for human rights, at a congressional hearing on Tuesday. “We have seen a significant decrease in the number of arrests, but I don’t want to say that one month represents a trend.”