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US slams Cuba dissident arrests as 'intimidation tactic'

The United States on Monday blasted Cuba’s recent mass arrest of dissidents as an “intimidation tactic” to silence critics, and called for the end to such detentions. Cuban authorities broke up a Sunday march by the Ladies in White, arresting about 100 of the opposition activists as they marked the 20th anniversary of the sinking of a tugboat in which 37 people drowned while seeking to flee the communist-ruled island. “We strongly condemn the Cuban government’s continued use of this intimidation tactic to silence its critics and disrupt peaceful assembly,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Psaki described the tugboat as having been “sunk by the Cuban government 20 years ago.”

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