Exiled Cuban independent journalist Yoe Suarez gave a lecture at Ashland University on the island paradise of Cuba, which, under the communist Castro dictatorship, is also a totalitarian hellhole.
‘Geographical paradise, but political hell’: Cuban journalist and political refugee talks journalism, religion & economics in AU lecture
Cuba is the last totalitarian regime in the Western hemisphere, said Yoe Suárez, a Cuban journalist and political refugee, to a crowd at Ashland University on Wednesday night.
And under that totalitarianism, telling the truth becomes a punishable offense.
“The regime is trying to manipulate civil society, the fabric of society, in a sense that makes them look good,” Suárez said. “Journalists, activists, pastors, laymans — they are always punished.”
Suárez explored Cuba’s struggles with freedom and totalitarianism in a lecture at Ashland University on Wednesday. The lecture, titled “Faith Under Totalitarianism in the 21st Century: Cuba, Freedom and the Church,” featured a conversation between Suárez and AU President Carlos Campo. A question-and-answer period followed the conversation.
AU hosted it as part of its Faith and Society lecture series. According to a press release, the series aims to “give Ashland students and the Ashland community the opportunity to hear experts discuss critical topics of faith and its implications in contemporary society.”
Suárez answered a number of questions from Campo about the struggles citizens face economically, socially and with practicing their faith under the socialist regime ruling Cuba.
“It’s a geographical paradise, but a political hell,” Suárez said.
Cuba’s 1959 revolution, in which Fidel Castro and the Cuban Communist Party took control of the country, resulted in repression of religion. Cuba declared itself an atheist state and prohibited church services.
It’s since relaxed those restrictions. But, in 2022, a report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom found religion remained “controlled, regulated and repressed” in Cuba.
The state represses and controls journalism, too. Reporters Without Borders ranks Cuba as the worst country for press freedom in Latin America.
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