March 18, 2001
volume 12, no. 77

Cuban Communists Destroy Crucifix and Beat a Devout Catholic

    LA HABANA, March 17, 2001 (Destaque Internacional) - Members of the Department of Religious Matters of the Communist Party in Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, violently invaded the house of Elena Macías, a devout Catholic, physically assaulting her, destroying an image of Jesus Christ and throwing the pieces of the destroyed image at her face.

    "This is one of the most savage anti-Catholic acts that has taken place in the recent history of Cuba" said reporters from the "Agencia Católica de Informaciones (ACI)" (Catholic Information Agency).

    Another devout Catholic, Maritza Lugo Fernández, in a message she managed to leak out from the women's prison "Manto Negro" (Black Cloak), accuses "the imposed dictatorial government in Cuba and its repressive branch, the State Security, for the injustices and abuses they commit against the Cuban people, against the penal population and very specifically against the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience."

    Mrs. Lugo, deemed a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, added, "I accuse the cowards and miserables who, through the use of force, commit all kinds of human rights violations, while nothing stops them as they attempt to defend a false revolution built and maintained on a foundation of lies and infamy."

    Vatican Radio denounced the continuing denial of spiritual guidance to political prisoners in Cuban jails, citing the case of Arturo Suárez Ramos, a Catholic, who was held in jail in Havana's "Combinado del Este."

    During Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba in January of 1998, the Pontiff unsuccessfully interceded before the communist regime seeking his freedom. Upon his return from Cuba, Monsignor Flavio Roberto Carraro, Bishop of Verona and President of the Commission for the Evangelization of Towns, of the Italian Episcopal Conference, declared to the newpaper "Avennire" that "the situation of the Church in Cuba is of suffering", referring to a confidential document from the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Havana wherein instructions are given to destroy latent religious sentiment in many Cubans and, expressions such as "despapar" (taking the Pope out of) Cuba are used in the text.

March 18, 2001
volume 12, no. 77
News from the Universal Church
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