Cuban priest denounces the Cuban Communist Party’s constant harassment

Religious persecution in communist Cuba continues unabated, especially against the faithful and clergy who speak out for freedom and against injustice. Father Albert Reyes, a Catholic priest in Camagüey, is denouncing harassment from the Cuban Communist Party’s Office of Religious Affairs, saying the church is under siege by the regime for its defense of political prisoners and the oppressed in Cuba. This is socialism in action.

Via CubaNet (my translation):

Father Alberto Reyes denounces pressure from the Cuban Communist Party’s Office of Religious Affairs

Priest Alberto Reyes Pías, from the Archdiocese of Camagüey, participated in the event “Faith under Attack” in Miami, where he exposed the situation of the Catholic Church in Cuba before the Office of Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba. During his remarks, Reyes stated: “It is the office that currently pressures Cuban bishops when priests and nuns raise their voices.”

The meeting, coordinated by the Organization of Outreach to the Americas (OAAA) at Florida International University (FIU), served as a platform to discuss the challenges of religious freedom in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

According to the report by Martí Noticias, Reyes described the siege on the Church: “This continuous harassment that has now been radicalized due to the Church’s defense of the innocence of political prisoners is not normal. What do we do? We work. Facing this system directly I believe would lead us either to destruction or to discouragement, and we cannot allow that… We systematically ignore the pressures and threats from the Office.”

He also expressed the importance of international support: “We are going to fight, we need to know that we are not alone. We need to know that someone will speak up when they silence us. We need people to pray for the conversion of our people because I have always said that the greatest sin, the problem of Cuba, was turning its back on God.”

Regarding the resilience of the Church and the future of Cuba, Reyes commented: “I hope God surprises us at any moment, but at a human level, there are no signs that there will be a change tomorrow. But on July 10 [2021] Cuba was peace and tranquility and on July 11 it was an explosion and this could happen again.”

Regarding the current situation, he concluded: “Is it possible that there will be a tsunami in Miami? Yes, but is there anything that makes us suppose that there will be a tsunami? No. So, of course, people are desperate and, as so many ways have now been opened to leave the country, people’s focus is on how to survive or how to leave.”

In July 2023, Reyes expressed concern about the situation of Church members facing threats from the Cuban government for denouncing injustices in the country, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency (ACI Prensa).

In a conversation with that media outlet, Father Reyes addressed the complexity of exercising religious freedom on the Island. In this regard, he argued that this right extends beyond simple worship in temples and also includes the active participation of believers in various areas of public life, such as education, healthcare, and the expression of free opinions.

Reyes commented on the 2023 Religious Freedom in the World Report, published on June 22 by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which states that freedom of worship is respected in Cuba, but there is no full religious freedom.

According to the report, the control exerted by the State and the Cuban Communist Party over religion and other aspects of citizen life severely limits many actions and movements of individuals.

The priest also cited the regime in Havana as the cause of the deterioration of religious freedom in Cuba. “This government, which seeks absolute control, also needs to have control over the Church: what is allowed, what is not allowed, according to its own interests,” he explained.

Leave a Comment