The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and deter public criticism. It routinely relies on arbitrary detention to harass and intimidate critics, independent activists, protesters, and others.  Other repressive tactics employed by the government include public acts of shaming and the arbitrary termination of employment. The US embargo continues to provide the Cuban government with an excuse for its problems, a pretext for its abuses, and a way to garner sympathy abroad with governments that might otherwise have been willing to condemn the country’s repressive practices more vocally.