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Cuban regime detained 140 political prisoners in January, ‘has not changed’

WASHINGTON — Cuba has temporarily detained about 140 political prisoners in January since Washington announced it was seeking to restore diplomatic relations with Havana, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday.

“The nature of the Cuban regime has not changed and we have not claimed so,” Tom Malinowski, the State Department’s top human rights official, told a congressional hearing discussing the Obama administration’s new policy toward Cuba.

Malinowski said, however, the number of detentions had fallen.

“We have seen a significant decrease in the number of arrests but I don’t want to say that one month represents a trend,” he said.

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