Religious stand in solidarity with those arrested during repression of protests in Cuba

cuba protest Citizen protests against the Cuban regime in Nuevitas, Camagüey, August 2022. | Photo credit: Video capture / Twitter

The Cuban Conference of Religious Men and Women (CONCUR) on Aug. 27 posted on Facebook a message of solidarity with the hundreds of citizens persecuted or arrested by the Cuban dictatorship during protests last week in the town of Nuevitas in Camagüey province.

“As religious life calls us to be alongside the suffering people, we make ours the cry of the multitudes in different communities of the country and more recently in Nuevitas, Camagüey, demanding a response to their basic needs and their desire to be able to express themselves in freedom,” CONCUR said in their statement.

“We deplore that persecution and imprisonment are the only response they have received,” the statement continued.

Beginning on Aug. 19, the Cuban regime for several days cracked down on the massive protests against power outages — up to 18 hours every day — that the city has undergone for several weeks.

Some videos posted on social media show a number of people in the streets with flashlights, cell phones, and clanging saucepans, protesting against the regime of President Miguel Díaz-Canel and demanding electricity be restored.

On its social media, the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Justicia 11J said it documented “forced disappearances, arrests, and new incidents of censorship and repression” between Aug. 23 and 24.

“Our figures amount to 18 arrested (including two 11-year-old girls) plus two new forced disappearances. At the time of the posting of this update, the Nuevitas park is completely militarized,” the NGO reported Aug. 24.

In its statement, CONCUR reminded that as a Church, “we offer ourselves once again to accompany detained persons and their families.”

“We ask the good God, Father of all, and the Our Lady of Charity to protect and guide all our people along the paths of freedom, justice, and peace,” the religious concluded.

Independent media from the island point out that the protests in Camagüey are the largest since the historic protests of July 11–12, 2021.

Calling for freedom, the protesters cited concerns about inflation, shortages of food and medicine, and the poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some protesters were beaten and hundreds were arrested, with some given summary trials without a defense lawyer.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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