WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. is deeply concerned about the roundup of 90 activists by Cuban authorities, a State Department official said Monday.
Cuban authorities arrested the protesters in Havana on Sunday, just days before the scheduled opening of the U.S. embassy there at the end of this week.
State Department’s spokesman John Kirby in said that the U.S. would continue to advocate for human rights in Cuba and demand basic freedoms.
“For us, it doesn’t matter whether it’s one or it’s 101,” he said, adding that the U.S. would continue to support “improved human rights conditions and democratic reforms in Cuba”.
The protesters were advocating that the U.S. should do more to curb ongoing human rights abuses.
Some media reports said many activists wore masks of President Barack Obama during the protest and blamed him for restoring relations with Cuban President Raul Castro.
Last December, Cuba and the United States announced plans to renew diplomatic relations after a half-century long Cold War.
As part of this normalization process, Cuba opened its embassy in Washington last month.
The U.S. embassy will be inaugurated in Havana on Friday by Secretary of State John Kerry.
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