Days After Cuba Closes Schools, Mother Serves Out Sentence for Homeschooling
Today, March 27, 2020, Ayda Expósito Leyva, a Guantánamo pastor, wife of Pastor Ramón Rigal Rodríguez, and mother of two, was released from a yearlong prison sentence for having home-schooled her children. Her husband remains in prison until 2021. GLA is fighting against Cuba’s weak rule of law on behalf of the Rigal family; read our press release on the matter below.
MADRE QUE EDUCA EN EL HOGAR SALE DE LA CÁRCEL
Escuelas cubanas cerradas, la madre completó sanción por educar en casa
Al día de hoy, el 27 de marzo de 2020, Ayda Expósito Leyva, pastora protestante de Guantánamo, esposa del Pastor Ramón Rigal Rodríguez y madre de dos hijos, fue liberada, tras 11 meses de cárcel por haber educado a sus hijos en el hogar. Su esposo se queda en prisión hasta el 2021. GLA sigue luchando contra el flojo imperio de la ley en Cuba por la familia Rigal; lea nuestro comunicado de prensa sobre el asunto a continuación.
La Alianza por la Libertad Global (GLA) y el Movimiento Campesino de Nicaragua, liderado por Medardo Mairena Sequeira, anunciamos una colaboración. Juntos, estamos comprometidos con:
La Alianza por la Libertad Global se dedica a defender los derechos fundamentales del individuo, a la libre empresa y al imperio de la ley. En diciembre de 2018, la Ley NICA Act, la cual sanciona a los infractores de estos derechos en el régimen Ortega-Murillo, entró en vigor después de la aprobación por unanimidad del Congreso Estadounidense, en parte, gracias a los esfuerzos educativos de la GLA.
El Movimiento Campesino de Nicaragua, organizado desde 2014, defiende los derechos de los campesinos contra el régimen autoritario de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo. Para más información sobre el Movimiento, Ud. puede consultar su página Facebook.
GLA and the Farmers’ Movement of Nicaragua, led by Medardo Mairena Sequeira, announce our collaboration. Together, we are dedicated to furthering respect for human dignity, defending the rights of all Nicaraguans suffering oppression under Daniel Ortega’s regime, and fighting political persecution and corruption.
The Global Liberty Alliance is committed to fundamental individual rights, free enterprise, and the rule of law. In December 2018, the NICA Act sanctioning violators of those rights in the Ortega regime was passed by President Trump after unanimous Congressional approval, in part thanks to GLA education efforts about the law and its importance to combating corruption in Nicaragua.
The Farmers’ Movement of Nicaragua (Movimiento Campesino de Nicaragua) has been organized since 2014 to defend the rights of farmers against the authoritarian regime of Daniel Ortega. For more information about the Movimiento Campesino de Nicaragua, see their Facebook page.
U.S. COMMISSION NAMES CUBA AS TIER 2 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ABUSER / CUBA NOMBRADA COMO VIOLADORA NIVEL 2 DE LIBERTAD RELIGIOSA
From March 6 to early March 14, 2020, two Ladies in White were detained and held in jail without cause, and prevented from having visitors. See below for more details:
Desde el 6 hasta el 14 de marzo, dos Damas de Blanco fueron detenidas, encarceladas y alejadas de visitas, sin causa alguna. Véase el documento a continuación para más detalles:
On March 11, The Global Liberty Alliance urged the Trump administration to consider reassessing travel warnings and protocols for travel to and from Cuba. Read the letter to Secretary of State Pompeo:
On March 16, Miami-Dade County Commission drafted a resolution to restrict travel to and from Cuba given the country’s susceptibility to COVID-19. See the PDF below:
CUBA’S STATE SECURITY CONTINUES TO TARGET CUBAN YORUBAS: SECURITY OFFICIALS THREATENED FREE YORUBAS, SAID THE ONLY GOD IS FIDEL CASTRO
Alexandria, Virginia – On March 11, the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba (Asociación de Yorubas Libres de Cuba, or “Free Yorubas”) was again targeted by Cuban State Security. During the past few months, the Global Liberty Alliance has noticed an intimidation uptick aimed at the Free Yorubas.
The husband and wife team, Ms. Donaida Pérez Paseiro and Mr. Loreto Hernández García, Executive Secretary and Vice President of the Free Yorubas, were detained in Placetas. In two hours of interrogation, State Security threatened the coupled in a variety of ways including the desecration of ceremonial objects and imprisonment for alleged visits to the home of a known dissident to recruit for the Association.
Dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as Antúnez, reports that the Free Yorubas’ Executive Board has issued an alert to international faith organizations. They state: “we ask for close monitoring of the physical well-being of this husband and wife, members of the Association’s Executive Board, who are only trying to act on their beliefs and are victims of persecution.”
During the interrogation Ms. Pérez alleges, regime officials mocked all faiths, professing that “there is only one god, Fidel Castro,” and saying something unprintable, because of its vulgarity, about what the Communist Party would do to God, the saints, and orishas.
“If you swear allegiance to the atheist Communist Party, no problem. The moment you profess a different point of view or, worse, as the Free Yorubas do, challenge the system to live free of the party control, you’re in trouble,” said Jason Poblete of the Global Liberty Alliance.
Free Yorubas leader Ms. Eliaisys Almeida Pavón was also detained on February 24. The association was founded in 2012 by Yorubas who disagreed with the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba, controlled by the government watchdog Office of Religious Affairs (ORA). Free Yorubas have been subject to arbitrary detentions and beatings, destruction of ceremonial objects, police monitoring, and ransackings without probable cause.
In early February 2020, the Free Yorubas challenged Ms. Caridad Diego, head of the ORA, to a public debate on freedom of conscience. The request was ignored, but state hostility appears to have escalated since. A group of human rights defenders including the Global Liberty Alliance has asked the U.S. government to sanction officials engaged in religious persecution such as persons working with the Office of Religious Affairs.
The Global Liberty Alliance is committed to defending fundamental rights and the rule of law, including the fundamental right to worship freely and follow his or her personal belief about faith or conscience matters. You can find more information about the work that GLA is doing for people of different faith traditions on our blog, our Facebook page, or our Twitter account. You can watch the below Declaration by Ms. Pérez Paseiro (in Spanish). This press release will also be posted in Spanish.