It was one year ago this week that the Obama administration announced the United States would normalize relations with Cuba, saying the new policy would lay the foundation for democratic reform and human rights.

But over the past year, violent beatings against pro-democracy activists have escalated, and the number of political dissidents being detained—over 7,000—is on schedule to break previous records.

Antonio Rodiles, a dissident brutally beaten for participating in a human rights demonstration last summer, sat down with The Daily Signal to talk about the state of human rights in Cuba one year after the agreement and why he fears that President Barack Obama’s move will strengthen the Castro regime.