Pastor threatened because of association with dissidents

HAVANA, Cuba, August 31 (Leafar Pérez / – Baptist pastor José Carlos Pérez says he has been warned not to preach against the government.

Pérez, who graduated from the Baptist Seminary of Cuba in 1991, said he was forced by the Baptist hierarchy to leave the Cárdenas parish church in Matanzas province after criticizing several protestant denominations for remaining silent about human rights violations in Cuba.

“For that reason,” he said in an interview, “I had to leave the church in Cárdenas, and for publicly condemning the rapprochement of the Baptist hierarchy with Raúl Castro, I was separated from the Convention.”

He said there’s a campaign to disaccredit him and that he constantly receives anonymous telephone calls that he should distance himself from dissidents.

Political prisoner reported beaten on orders of State Security

HAVANA, Cuba, August 31 (Juan Carlos González Leiva / – Political prisoner Abel López says fellow dissident Ricardo Galván was recently beaten by guards at the Guantánamo provincial prison on orders of State Security.

He said the beating took place after Galván had written “Down with Fidel” and “Down with tyranny” on the wall of his cell in protest after guards had taken the water heater he needed for medical purposes.

Galván was arrested February 25 on charges of resistance and damage to the public for writing the word CAMBIO (Change) on walls.

Dissident sentenced to 4 years for disrespect

HAVANA, Cuba, August 31 (Juan Carlos González Leiva / – Dissident Nelson Curbelo sentenced to two years imprisonment by the municipal court in Cárdenas, Matanzas province, for disrespecting four state inspectors, according to human rights activist Leticia Ramos.

Despite security at the trial August 21, Ramos was allowed to attend.

Curbelo, 48, is a member of the Independent Option Movement.

State Security agents and police prevent demonstration

HABANA, Cuba, August 31 (Roberto de Jesús Guerra, Hablemos Press / – State Security agents and police last week prevented a demonstration of the Martian Civic League in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, detaining some dissidents and forcing others to disperse.

Among those detained were Julián Guerra, Moisés Mestres, Zoila Hernández and Alfredo Montano of the Civic League and Georgina Noa of the Latin American Federation of Rural Women (FLAMUR).

“The protest was organized because of the refusal of authorities to allow us to meet at the Carmen Church in Central Havana, where we pray and demand freedom for political prisoners,” said FLAMUR’s Noa.