For months, members of the Missionary Church of Cuba (“Iglesia Misionera de Cuba”) in Victoria, Las Tunas, have been pelted with stones on their way to worship. Originally occurring once a week, now the attacks have escalated to twice a week. According to church head Pastor Yoel Demetrio, the move is designed to scare off his congregation, as well as to pressure the pastor to weaken his message. Churchgoers cannot see who is throwing stones at them, but they all suspect state officials have instigated the attacks. Complaints to Cuban police have brought no results.
Yesterday, on September 30, 2020, two Cuban women who are members of the Association of Free Yorubas executive committee were arrested, held overnight, and beaten by State Security.
On August 12, 2020, Cuban police threatened to revoke Palenque Visión journalist Mr. Rolando Rodríguez’s parole on a trumped-up charge. Police summoned Mr. Rodríguez’s wife, Ms. Yadisley Rodríguez, also a journalist, to the station, and alleged that the family had violated parole by leaving the province, a claim that the family asserts is untrue. Because of this and their dissident journalism, the police assert the parents could both lose custody of their children.
These threats follow on the heels of a home raiding. On the night of Monday, July 27, Cuban State Security broke into and raided the Camagüey home of journalists from Palenque Visión, Yadisley Rodríguez and Rolando Rodríguez. They frightened the children and confiscated the family’s technology in an attempt to gain access to Mr. Rodríguez. They also threatened to “reeducate” Mr. Rodriguez, jail Ms. Rodríguez, and take custody of their children in their efforts to extract further information.
Read more about the repression of the Rodríguezes at the following links:
Alexandria, VA - The Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) has received word that several members of the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba (Asociación de Yorubas Libres de Cuba), including an underage boy, were just released from police custody after being separately summoned to the police station in Placetas, Villa Clara this afternoon. They were in police custody for 3 hours.
Yesterday, on June 25, 2020, evangelical Pastor Ramón Rigal Rodríguez, of Guantánamo, Cuba, was released after over a year of unlawful imprisonment. Pastor Rigal and his wife, Adya Expósito, were sentenced in May 2019 to two and one-and-a-half years of prison for homeschooling their children.
In close collaboration with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in Purcellville, Virginia, and with Cuban religious leaders, the Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) has been advocating for the release of the Rigal parents since their trial. In late April 2019, the GLA and the HSLDA petitioned the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for precautionary measures to protect the Rigal family and press Cuba to release them.
While the Rigal family is finally reunited, as Radio Televisión Martí has said, the reporter who covered their trial, GLA client Roberto Quiñones, is still unjustly imprisoned. You can find more information about GLA’s advocacy for the Rigal-Expósito family here. GLA is committed to defending fundamental rights, such as freedom of religion and of belief.
You can learn more about GLA’s work on our Facebook page or our Twitter account.
IN LETTER TO MEXICAN AMBASSADOR BÁRCENA, GLA ENCOURAGES TRANSPARENCY IN MEXICAN HIRING OF CUBAN MEDICAL WORKERS
On June 17, GLA addressed Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena Coqui in a letter, requesting that Mexico answer Mexican Senator Alejandra Noemi Reynoso Sánchez’s request for more details about the role of Cuban medical professionals in Mexico. While the Mexican government repeatedly denied having contracted Cuba’s “medical missions” in 2019 and 2020, GLA and Sen. Reynoso received credible information about the presence of Cuban health workers.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State's Report on International Religious Freedom for 2019 was released. The Report cited the Global Liberty Alliance as providing information about religious freedom violations against the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba. Here is the quote:
According to the U.S. based Global Liberty Alliance, authorities accused the Free Yorubas of 'destabilizing society,' and subjected their leaders to arbitrary detentions and beatings, destruction of ceremonial objects, police monitoring, and searches-and-seizures without probable cause.
You can read the full report below:
The Global Liberty Alliance has received disturbing new information from the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba (Asociación de Yorubas Libres de Cuba) documenting numerous violations of fundamental rights on the island. The GLA is closely reviewing the material and is collaborating with the Free Yorubas to hold Cuban regime officials to account.
On April 29, 2020, the GLA urged the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to grant Precautionary Measures on behalf of Dr. Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces (see cover letter below). An independent journalist and former practicing attorney, Dr. Quiñones has been unlawfully imprisoned in Cuba since September 11, 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded Dr. Quiñones’s health status.
On April 19, Medardo Mairena, leader of the Farmers Movement of Nicaragua, commemorated the 2nd anniversary of the April Uprising of 2018. Thousands of Nicaraguans protested the authoritarian Sandinista rule of Daniel Ortega and his vice president/wife Rosario Murillo, and over 300 civilians ended up dead at the hands of government forces.
Click on Read More to read the statements.