This month saw, once again, protests suppressed in Cuba. In July 2021, Cuba was affected by several demonstrations that took to the streets with protests calling for greater freedom and changes to the country. This was one of the biggest demonstrations seen in the country in recent decades. And when it happened, the government was not prepared.
As there was no change after these acts, the population decided to return to the streets on November 15, with the same goals in mind. However, what happened was very different from what was idealized by the organizers. Unlike the first demonstration, this time the government was prepared, keeping the protest leaders and their supporters under close surveillance.
President Miguel Díaz-Canes said, on national television, that any act of demonstration was prohibited and that the government was prepared to “defend the revolution”. Some opposition leaders who decided to leave their home, even after the warnings, were later arrested.
Pastor Rodolfo*, an Open Doors contact on the island, said that the leaders of the demonstration created a way to recognize the protesters: they should wear a white shirt. In addition, they also set meeting places where the demonstrations were to start.
However, the government learned of this information and placed rapid-response groups heavily armed in strategic locations. When the police found someone wearing a white shirt filming on the street with their cell phone, or acting suspiciously, they would approach these people, confiscate their cell phone, or send them to prison.
"This month saw, once again, protests suppressed in Cuba."
At the same time, churches that disagree with the government must be very careful with what they say during services as it is common for government agents, or even sympathizers, to visit churches and then denounce them.
For the pastor, although it is important to go out on the streets, he knows how difficult it is to see change happen: “We understand that this country does not seriously address these claims. If it were in another country, where we know the voice of the people is heard, we would gladly do it”.
Pray for the nation of Cuba. In the 2021 World Watch List, it placed one spot outside the top 50. Pray that freedom increases in the country and that Christians are able to worship openly, without fear of repercussion from the government.
Pray that protesters will be allowed to speak against the government without worrying for their safety.
November 30 is Giving Tuesday 2021! Our goal this year is to raise $15,000 to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Cuba.
Will you join us? You can donate here: