The mainstream media since December 2014 has been singing the praises of the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations, claiming it’s some grand new chapter with much promise for the isolated Communist island nation and for economic interests of both countries. Since Pope Francis took office in 2013, he had been working secretly with Vatican diplomats and leaders of Cuba along with the Obama administration on normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba. If true peace was the goal, you would think that all parties involved would see and expect Cuba to loosen its tight chokehold on human rights, such as religious freedoms, but just the opposite has happened.
A new report released by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) shows that since the Pope began negotiations with Cuba in 2013, Cuba has increased restrictions on religious freedoms. In 2012, Cuba had 120 recorded violations of religious freedoms. In 2013, it rose to 180. In 2014, it rose again to 220. Some of the rise in numbers is due to more people speaking out, but those who do report it and are caught are being harassed and threatened with arrest.
In Cuba, the Communist Party’s Office of Religious Affairs (ORA) gives the thumbs up or thumbs down on religious gatherings and their gathering places. Their restrictions can be so tight that “members of the congregation can be threatened with losing their jobs, pastors’ children are often singled out at school, and the ORA can refuse to allow building repair work to be done.” CSW notes that this can apply to both registered or unregistered churches.
A Baptist minister who pastored for 52 years on the island was sent fleeing to the U.S. in 2014 due to severe harassment from the ORA. The ORA also razed the home of another pastor last year when he and his family were out and about, simply because he had a house church. Roman Catholic congregations are given preferred treatment, although there are cases when they are made to suffer as well. For instance, the ORA held up repairs to a monastery to the point where the building became uninhabitable and the monks will have to leave the country where their order has been for hundreds of years. The importing and distribution of religious publications are also severely restricted, including Bibles.
Additionally, in the midst of all the Vatican negotiations, Russia has increased its presence in Cuba with the intent of spying on America. So the real story behind all the mainstream news is that the normalizing of U.S.-Cuba relations will be the same situation the U.S. has with China. International companies and the U.S. economy will be used to strengthen Communists for the sake of the almighty dollar and the expansion of the New World Order while Cuba will be allowed to amp up their human rights violations. Then the media and politicians will continue to feed us the same worn-out lies that normalizing relations is necessary to help human rights and defeat Communism.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
Source: Lucinda Borkett-Jones, Religious freedoms worsening in Cuba: ‘There is a crackdown happening’, ChristianToday.com, January 26, 2015.