Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

March 8, 1999

OPEN LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA (PCC) By Marvin Hernández Monzón, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - The Political Prisoners' "Presidium" has written to the Department of Religious Affairs of the Communist Party and sent a copy to us for publication. It follows:

"Mrs. Caridad Diego, Director of the Department of Religious Affairs, Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba:

"The current Constitution of the Republic of Cuba in its Article 55 states that the state acknowledges, respects and guarantees religious freedom.

"It also provides certain protection to the religious believers within the formal context of Article 294 of the Criminal Law Code.

"For this reason, the right to expect respect for our beliefs is sustained by the regulations.

"Contrary to said dispositions, here in the provincial penitentiary of Ariza, in Cienfuegos province, religious practices have been obstructed because of threats by the authorities. Once certain adversities had been overcome through Christian perseverance, new methods were then implemented: Registration of the names of those who participated in religious ceremonies, studies and prayers. This measure causes fear to the newcomers who either do not participate openly or stray from the path they were starting to follow.

"Worrisome also is the flagrant practice of some officers against the principle of respect for religiousness.

"It is upsetting how Héctor Martínez and Veneraldo Caballero Corbellar, officers of "reeducation," have pronounced blasphemies in the presence of Christian believers. In response to our claims for respect towards our religion, they have kept their attitudes and repeated their offenses.

"As believers, we tolerate the lack of capacity of those who do not understand the insult of blasphemy to Chrisitan dignity. But we are not going to allow it to become a common practice.

"Through this letter we appeal to you for the only purpose of getting put into practice that which is contained in and protected by the laws.

"Awaiting your reply, we remain: Benito Fojaco Isser, Luis Mariano Ramos Morales, Vladimiro Roca Antúnez, Bernardo Rogelio Arévalo Padrón, Pedro Genaro Barrera Rodríguez, Juan de Dios Medina Vázquez, Juan Carlos Vázquez García, Augusto César San Martín Albístur."

Marvin Hernández Monzón, Cuba Free Press


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