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.
The new information provided by the Free Yorubas is consistent with findings in the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2019 Annual Report that makes clear that the Communist Party “arbitrarily controls all religious activity” on the island. At the heart of all religious persecution in Cuba is the national Religion Police, the Office of Religious Affairs (ORA). Though the ORA has targeted many types of believers, it seems to harbor a unique animus toward the Free Yorubas.
The Communist Party’s Religion Police are persecuting the Free Yorubas in a systematic, ongoing, egregious manner. It is part of a pattern, ongoing for decades that impacts all people of faith and other believers. For this reason, the GLA believes that Cuba’s Religion Police, its members, and leaders must be held to account and someday brought to justice.
GLA has reported on recent violations by the Religion Police over the past few months. On February 24, Cuban police detained Ms. Eliaisys Almeida Pavón, Head of Public Relations of the Free Yorubas, for allegedly visiting the home of a known Cuban dissident. On March 11, the married couple Ms. Donaida Pérez Paseiro and Mr. Loreto Hernández García were arrested by Cuba’s religious police, who threatened them and stated obscenities about God before stating that their only God was Fidel Castro.
In a statement, Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez, the ex-political prisoner known as “Antúnez,” describes how GLA will be providing much-needed support to “the most persecuted religious group in Cuba.” Listen to the audio below.
You can find more information about GLA’s casework for the Free Yorubas here.