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Cuban authorities harshly mistreat a Christian

A respected member of the Christian community was arrested without a reason. “Many people are outraged by this and we are going to support him”, his pastor says.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus 09 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2020 11:15 h
Denis Rosabal, his wife Yenislén and their 3 children. / Facebook D. Roabal.

Until Thursday, August 6 at 10:00 in the morning, Denis Rosabal and Yenislén Bermúdez lived in peace with their three children: Keila (19), Keren (13) and Samuel (11).

That day, the Cuban authoritiessurrounded the house. There were like ten outside and another three inside, recording everything. One of them was dressed as a civilian and the other two in dark green”, Yenislén told journalist Yaiset Rodríguez in the local newspaper Diario de Cuba.

Denis worked in a garage of the Assemblies of God, one of the largest evangelical denominations in Cuba, located near his Aposento Alto church, in the El Coco neighborhood, on the outskirts of the city of Holguín. The family has their home next to the garage.

Police asked Denis where all the pieces in the garage came from. “He told them the truth, that he had the documents of some pieces, but other old pieces have been fixed and repaired many times, so that no one knows where they came from, and  that he could not justify some pieces. But this is Cuba, who has not had something without papers? Who hasn't bought something without asking where it came from?”, Yenislén said.


Detained and arrested

The first night her husband was arrested at 11:00 pm. They came back with him the following mornings, while they continued to search every inch of the property. When they finished, in the afternoon, they brought him to prison again.

The searches lasted a week. Since then, Denis remains locked up in the prison of Pedernales, known in Cuba as the place where “everyone talks, where State Security and the Police are above law and order”.

The pastor of the El Coco congregation, Miguel Acosta, regretted what happened and considers it an injustice.


“Many in the area have something to thank Denis for”

“I think that people from all provinces have passed through Denis's hands when they have had a problem with the car in our area. In addition to the mechanics, Denis has helped with the construction. He is the church pianist and music director. But not only is he loved by us, he is respected throughout this community", he said.

Otoniel Velázquez, who now lives in Kentucky but was pastor of that church for 23 years, said Denis is an exceptional person. “Many can attest that, both Cubans and foreign missionaries from different groups”.

“Many in the congregations from the area between Ciego de Ávila and Guantánamo have something to thank Denis for. He has donated his own money and fixed houses and roads in his community. There are many people outraged by this and we are going to support him, we are not going to sit idly by”.


Police abuse

In addition to the garage, the church has about three containers that it uses as warehouses. The authorities took 244 tiles from one of these containers, that were intended to build places of worship, along with their beams and screws. The materials could be part of a donation legally received from the United States.

The authorities also took 14,000 Cuban pesos, the family's savings.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus and the worsening of the economic crisis on the island, the authorities have attacked the so called “self-employed” in police operations covered by the official press almost daily.

The accusations for illicit economic activity, hoarding, spreading of epidemics, along with with the offensive against foremen and resellers, have mainly ended with people in jail or fines and subsidiary sanctions.


Very short prison visits

The last three Wednesdays, Yenislén has visited Denis only for five or ten minutes, it depends on the kindness of the guards”.

“He gives me a very short call on Tuesday to tell me if he needs anything. He always tells me he is fine. I bring him clean clothes”. Yenislén has not received any document about the registration or the process against her husband.

She can't make calls. She knows little about what happens to him. "I know that the instructor who takes care of her case is called Liliana, and they gave me the number of an office where they hardly ever answer the phone."

On September 26 Denis turns 45. His family wonders if they will be able celebrate together.




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