A Cuban priest reportedly remains in police custody as of Monday after police beat him, dragged him through the street, and stripped him in his native Camagüey for supporting peaceful protests.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, the Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) cited a source within the Catholic Church in Cuba who said Father Castor José Álvarez Devesa was still missing:
🚨 ALERT 🚨 A source inside the Catholic Church in Cuba has advised GLA that Father Castor José Álvarez Devesa has…
In a Twitter post on Monday, the organization said the “secret police, after a brutal beating, unlawfully detained Father Castor.”
“He is being held in the Monte Carlos Police Station in Camagüey,” the alliance noted:
🚨 ALERT🚨 According to Catholic Church officials in Cuba the secret police, after a brutal beating, unlawfully detained Father Castor. He is being held in the Monte Carlos Police Station in Camagüey, #Cuba. A Bishops ignored. @USEmbCuba @USCIRF @WHAAsstSecty #ReligiousFreedom https://t.co/9DIpMplaJ1
— The Global Liberty Alliance (@GLALegalDefense) July 12, 2021
Álvarez appeared on a list of 57 names that Cuba Decide, a dissident organization on the island, confirmed were people either missing or in police custody without due process as of Monday. Many of them are prominent members of the anti-communist community on the island; no evidence that any were in the process of committing any crimes when they disappeared exists.
Catholics and other Christians inhabiting the island have endured more than half a century of intense persecution under the Castro regime, including positions on firing squad lists, imprisonment in labor camps, politically motivated arrests, and censorship of their faith, Breitbart News reported in January.
“The Communist Party of Cuba is an explicitly atheist institution that inhibits all religious worship while promoting late dictator Fidel Castro’s ties to nominally Catholic, but functionally Marxist liberation theologists,” the outlet said.
According to Aleteia, in 2018, Father Álvarez and fellow priests José Conrado Rodríguez and Melvis Roque penned a letter to dictator Raúl Castro to demand free elections in Cuba.
In the letter, the priests said, “since the institutionalization of the Communist Party as the only party authorized to exist, this people has never been allowed to raise a different voice – rather, every different voice that has tried to make itself heard has been silenced.”
Thousands of Cubans in at least 20 locations nationwide flooded the streets on Sunday to peacefully demand an end to the 62-year-old communist regime.
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 11, 2021
In many cases, participants faced extreme police repression, the outlet stated:
Videos from throughout the island show both plain-clothed and uniformed state security officers attacking peaceful protesters. In Havana, bystanders recorded the sound of heavy gunfire and public beatings of dissidents. Miguel Díaz-Canel, the “president” appointed by Raúl Castro to be the face of the still-ruling Castro Communist Party, called for street “combat” against anyone demanding an end to the regime in a speech on Sunday.
Pray for the Cuban people. pic.twitter.com/GnXpr4Z7aF
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 12, 2021