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Human rights abuses in Cuba will not slow normalization of diplomatic relations, U.S. says

MIAMI - MARCH 25:  People show their support for Cuba's Las Damas de Blanco on March 25, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  In Cuba last week the Las Damas de Blanco, Ladies in White, who are peaceful dissidents, were attacked by government security forces in Havana.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI - MARCH 25: People show their support for Cuba's Las Damas de Blanco on March 25, 2010 in Miami, Florida. In Cuba last week the Las Damas de Blanco, Ladies in White, who are peaceful dissidents, were attacked by government security forces in Havana. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

The State Department says it was concerned about the beating of a political activist and the detention of another 100 activists by Cuban authorities last weekend, but says the incident will not change the process of normalizing diplomatic relations with the island nation.

Spokesman John Kirby says the United States will always be "vocal and very candid" about human rights abuses.

But he says the incidents won't slow the normalizing of relations. Instead, he says they reinforce the need to move forward so that the U.S. can engage with Cuban authorities on human rights issues.

Cuban political activist Antonio Rodiles said he was trying to join a weekly march by a dissident group in Havana and was detained and roughed up by plainclothes state security.

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