Cuba’s Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC) has once again been the target of harassment by state police, according to regional news agency Diario Las Americas. CEC was founded by Cuban Catholic intellectual Dagoberto Valdes, as a platform for citizen participation, freedom of expression, social justice and democracy for the good of the Cuban nation. According to an interview on a UK-based Cuban blog, Valdes has been subjected to regular interrogations concerning CEC, back to September 2016.
Separately, news platform Ciber Cuba reported earlier in March that a Cuban Protestant pastor and his wife are to be prosecuted for not sending their children to school. Although the Cuban authorities warned Ramón Rigal of the “criminal nature” of conduct, punishable according to Article 315.1 of the country’s Penal Code, Mr Rigal argues that he and his wife do not want an “atheist” education for their children.
“The Cuban government is censoring freedom of education for its citizens, whether Christian parents are involved, or associations that do not behave as the regime would wish.”
Rossana Ramirez, Open Doors
Rossana Ramirez, who works for the World Watch Research unit of Open Doors, explains: “Although the CEC interrogations are not directly connected to the case of the Christian couple facing trial, both reports help us to understand the same point: censorship of the Cuban government regarding freedom of education for its citizens, whether Christian parents are involved, or associations that do not behave as the regime would wish. It is uncertain how the situation for Christians will develop in the future, when Raul Castro steps down from the presidency next year… This change in leadership may provide space for more freedom of thought and religion such as CEC is trying to promote. However, we must also realise that a new social environment could also be influenced by new ideologies”.