While facing the severity of the economic crisis on the island, a situation that has gotten worse due to COVID-19, civil society organizations and Christian denominations have tried to provide spiritual and material help.
However, the authorities have taken advantage of the restrictions imposed in the context of the pandemic to intensify the harassment against Christian leaders in the country.
Since March, the Emmanuel Church, which is run by Pastor Alain Toledano, has been assisting and sharing basic supplies to those most affected by the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Despite recommending social distancing and avoiding crowds during his activities, last April, Pastor Toledano was arbitrarily detained on the charge of “spreading epidemics.”
On a different occasion, the Baptist church of Majagua had to cancel the distribution of money donations sent by a group of Cubans in exile – whose stance is critical of the government – for fear of becoming a target of retaliation from the authorities.